Too little water or too much?

Too little water or too much?

A strange question maybe, but the answer is stranger as there is both too little and too much.

The ‘too little’ part of the equation is well known. Too many years of drought in recent times have exacerbated the problems of desertification, the challenges of eking out a living in an arid land. These are the issues we have been looking to address for many years, helping to improve access to clean water, building dams, sinking wells, working to grow vegetables in the run-off, or supporting the Furrows in the Desert schemes.

When the rains come, as they did a few weeks ago, it is a relief but one tempered by the fact that much of the water is lost as the land cannot hold it, and that it takes around three months for the animals to recover, for life to resume some kind of balance. And then the cycle starts again. One thing that has been evident though is the positive effect of the nursery schools and clinics in increased resilience, the better health of the animals around those hubs, and the increasing sense of community which has led to villages sharing what water is available. All improvements which can be linked to the work we support – and clearly need to continue to support.

The second part of the conundrum is more puzzling and less widely understood. In common with the other lakes in the region Lake Turkana has been spreading. Water levels have been rising, threatening habitations around the shores. The plus side of this is surely there is more available water? The answer is ‘not really’. The waters of the lakes are too alkaline and are not potable, can’t be used for either people or animals. All very frustrating – and it does mean the work needs to continue.

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