Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Non Fiction Horror

Today a new article on Pantanodontidae by Jean Huber and me was published. We describe a new genus with three species endemic to Lake Turkana. The construction of a dam will change the lake forever, probably destroying much of its unique, poorly known fauna...

The construction of the Gilgel Gibe III dam, will have a dramatic effect on the water level in the lake. Our article deals with fish; however the situation for local people living and working in and around the lake will also be changed horrifically. The image above (left) hypothetically indicates the effect of a decline of the water level. Hypothetical decline, or... is it? If you look at the irrigation projects which recently emptied Lake Aral in no time, bringing the endemic fauna close to extinction, the expectations for Lake Turkana are far from hypothetical.
Except for big, commercially interesting fish, Lake Turkana's fish are poorly known. We have examined two species described in the early 1930's. Our research proved there are more, yet undescribed endemic species in the lake. None of them are known as live specimens, although in the 1980's a few more specimens were collected.

The Gilgel Gibe III, a hydroelectric power plant the Ethiopian government is constructing on the Lower Omo Valley of the Turkana River is controversial. The dam is predicted to double the electrical output of Ethiopia but devastate the lives and livelihoods of thousands of indigenous people in Kenya who depend on the Turkana River for survival.

A true horror scenario. Once again it is clear: real life can be more scary than any writer can imagine...

Order your copy here:
Huber, Jean H. and Eduard Meinema (2024): Exceptional intra-lacustrine speciation in brackish inland Lake Turkana, with description of Eremodon nov.gen. and two new species, in comparison to coastal Aliteranodon effusorium n. sp. (Pantanodontidae; Cyprinodontiformes) - Killi-Data Series 2024, 71-99, 20 figs.


Carr, Claudia C. (2017): River Basin Development and Human Rights in Eastern Africa — A Policy Crossroads. ISBN: 978-3-319-28478-1; DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-28480-4

National Geographic, online, Lake Turkana Dam: Testing a Lake’s Limit