NWNL Press

NWNL Press

Turkana children on shore, Lake Turkana World Heritage Site.
Image: © Alison M. Jones for No Water No Life

Will the World Take Action to Stop the Destruction of a Unique Global Heritage?

In a piece published June 25, 2015, Peter Bosshard, Interim Executive Director of International Rivers, writes about the importance of Kenya’s Lake Turkana to the ecosystem and to 300,000 indigenous people living along its shores. This precious resource is now under threat from construction of dams and sugar plantations in neighboring Ethiopia which could cause a disastrous drop in water level. The article can be found here: Will the World Take Action to Stop the Destruction of a Unique Global Heritage?

The article leads with a photo by NWNL’s Alison M. Jones which shows Turkana children on the lake shore. The photo is part of NWNL’s Omo Photo Gallery of Turkana People.

Though the World Heritage Committee’s experts have found that Lake Turkana meets the conditions of a World Heritage in Danger, for reasons explained in the article the Committee has so far declined to make the declaration. In advance of the Committee’s annual session in Bonn, June 28 to July 8, 2015, the author asks readers to sign International Rivers’ online petition calling on the World Heritage Committee to declare Lake Turkana a World Heritage in Danger. The Committee’s report can be found here: State of Conservation (SOC 2015) Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya).

For a broad perspective on the values of the watershed and its stakeholders, and the cultural and environmental impacts of the damming of the Omo, see Alison’s interview with Halewijn Scheuerman, conducted in 2007 when these issues began to surface.