Kenya wants joint water resource control with Ethiopia

Fishing in Lake Turkana. The Kenyan authorities wants a joint management mechanism with Ethiopia. Photo | FILE | AFRICA REVIEW 

The Kenya Government wants a joint management mechanism with Ethiopia to monitor the flow of water in River Omo, a major source of Lake Turkana.

There have been fears about the future of the lake in north-western Kenya following the development of a massive hydro-electric power project by Ethiopia on River Omo.

At a meeting in Nairobi Monday, Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, were briefed on the steps being taken to ensure sustainable and fair use of the largest fresh water lake in a desert.

The top level Lake Turkana Security and Environmental Consultative meeting took place at President Kibaki's Harambee House office.

A report of a technical government team that was dispatched to Ethiopia, following a complaint by local communities around Lake Turkana about the receding water levels, was presented at the meeting.

The joint management team, recommended the Nairobi meeting, should be in place before the Gibe III hydropower project being developed by the Ethiopian Government begins generating electricity.

The meeting was also briefed on security measures that had been taken following skirmishes in Todonyang, around Lake Turkana region, that led to several deaths.

Security has been beefed up in the area while peace and reconciliation efforts were being undertaken between Kenya's Turkana and Dasenach Merille peoples of Ethiopia.

President Kibaki underscored the need for countries in the region to establish proper frameworks for the utilisation of shared resources in the region.

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