Massive Aquifer Found in Kenya Desert Could Supply 40 Million in Draught Region for 70 Years

A massive water source discovered in Kenya could supply the northern, draught stricken region of Kenya with enough H20 to last for 70 years, reports say.

A Kenyan nomadic herder looks at his cow, too weak to walk, at a water point on the boarder of Somalia |

At least two aquifers have been discovered in the Northern region of Kenya where Unesco has reported that about 17 million people lack access to safe water. The newly discovered water sources could be enough to supply the region with water for another 70 years, according to Environment Minister Judi Wakhungu.

"This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole. We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations," Wakhungu said at a meeting of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, according to BBC.

An aquifer is an underground layer from which groundwater can be extracted. The water sources were discovered last year after scientists released a map detailing the vast reservoirs lying under much of Africa. One aquifer was discovered in Lotikipi Basin, through the use of satellites and radar, according to BBC. A second was found in Namibia - the continent's driest country.

About 41 million people live in Kenya, most subsiding as nomadic herders who are dependent on the rain for survival. The country in 2011 experienced its worst drought in six decades, causing famine in the northern, eastern and coastal regions. Some herders who lost animals from draught turned to fishing instead in Lake Turkana, one of the areas only water sources, but water in the lake is slowly depleting as well and has becoming increasingly salty over the years, making it almost unsafe for both humans and animals to drink.

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