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Dry riverbed of the Turkwel river. Photo taken just outside Lodwar Town. Lodwar is in Turkana County, Kenya

The Turkwel River[1] (sometimes spelled Turkwell River[2]) is a river flowing from Mount Elgon in the border of Kenya and Uganda to Lake Turkana. The river is called the Suam River from its source to the border with the West Pokot District of Kenya. The name Turkwel is derived from the Turkana name for the river, Tir-kol, which means translates to a river that "withstands the wilderness". The Turkwel begins from the lush green slopes of Mount Elgon and the Cherangani Hills, traverses the Southern Turkana Plains, crosses Loturerei Desert near Lodwar and empties to the world's largest desert lake, Lake Turkana.[3] The river's flow is seasonally varied, and it is subject to flash floods in the rainy season.[3]

A controversial hydro power plant was built by the Kenyan government from 1986 to 1991 with the help of France. The plan was to harness the waters of the Turkwel. The project was initially supposed to cost 4 billion Kenyan shillings, but ended up costing more than 20 billion. The dam partially filled the Turkwel Gorge[4] and created the Turkwel Gorge Reservoir.[5]


  1. ^ Turkwel (Approved) at GEOnet Names Server, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  2. ^ Turkwell (Variant) at GEOnet Names Server, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  3. ^ a b Adams, W. M. (1989). "Dam construction and the degradation of floodplain forest on the Turkwel River, Kenya". Land Degradation & Development (Wiley) 1 (3): 189–198. doi:10.1002/ldr.3400010303. 
  4. ^ Turkwel Gorge (Approved) at GEOnet Names Server, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  5. ^ Kotut, Kiplagat; Njuguna, Stephen G,; Muthuri, Francis M. and Krienitz, Lothar (1999). "The physico-chemical conditions of Turkwel Gorge Reservoir, a new man made lake in Northern Kenya". Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters 29 (4): 377–392. doi:10.1016/S0075-9511(99)80046-2. 

Coordinates: 3°06′17″N 36°05′51″E / 3.10472°N 36.09750°E / 3.10472; 36.09750

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkwel_River — Please support Wikipedia.
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59 videos foundNext > 


Turkana Residents Forced Into Dangerous Crossings of River Turkwel

Residents of six villages in Turkana south have been forced to risk their lives daily as they try to cross the crocodile infested Turkwel river due to the lack of a bridge in the area. Many...

Irrigation efforts yield results as Turkana food basket prospers

More than 500 households in Turkana are looking forward to a bumper harvest, thanks to several irrigation projects along the Turkwel River and River Kerio that have given them a lifeline to...

River Of Death

A story from Kaputir Village in Turkana County and down the crocodile infested River Turkwel where people have to undress before crossing from one side to the other. Tonight we tell you how...

East Africa 1961 Reel 13 of 46

Cat. Reel 193 1961: Reel 13: East Africa. Jan. 18-20. Amudat. Lodwar, Turkwel river, Kenya. Lake Rudolf. Suk couple in traditional costume. Person with plug in lower lip. (cu) Woman with leather...

Driver escapes death as lorry plunges into river in Lodwar

For more news visit http://www.ntv.co.ke Follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ntvkenya Like our FaceBook page http://www.facebook.com/NtvKenya A man escaped death by a whisker when...

Sities,Turkwel, Kainuk graduate to Ithumba

3rd April 2013 saw three of our Nursery girls, Sities, Kainuk and Turkwel graduate from the Nairobi Nursery to the DSWT's reintegration centre at Ithumba. This next stage in their journey...

50,000 acres of land in Kerio Valley to be put under irrigation by KVDA

At least 50000 acres of land in Kerio Valley were to be put under irrigation, in order to shield the communities in the area from frequent food shortages. The Kerio Valley Development Authority...

Turkwel Gorge Dam

The countrys power woes could deepen even further with yet another power generation scheme threatened with closure due to receding water levels. Fears are now rife that the Turkwel power station...

IEBC hearings continue

http://www.ntv.co.ke Pastrolists in West Pokot are dissatisfied with the border between Pokot and neighboring Turkana region. Leaders from the community told the Independent Electoral and Boundarie.

59 videos foundNext > 

10 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:59:09 -0700

MDG : Drought in Turkana, Kenya : Children collect water in dry bed of the Kalokol, northern Kenya: children collect water from holes dug in a dry riverbed. The town's only other water source is a defunct borehole. Photograph: Jessica Hatcher for the ...
The Star
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:45:27 -0700

TULLOW Oil Company will rehabilitate the Kainuk Bridge on Turkwel River. Residents have in the past blamed the company for the poor state of the bridge due to its heavy trucks transporting machines. Turkana county deputy county commissioner Elijah ...
The Standard Digital News
Wed, 07 May 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Turkana, Kenya: The Government has been urged to allocate funds for the rehabilitation of Kainuk Bridge in Turkana South District. The bridge over Turkwel River, which links the area to other regions, is reportedly falling apart. Turkana County ...
Wed, 10 Jul 2013 07:26:15 -0700

NAIROBI, 10 July 2013 (IRIN) - The Kenyan government is planning to introduce large-scale irrigation in the country's dry lands to improve food security and unlock agricultural potential – but critics have blasted the US$170 million scheme as unviable ...

NatGeo News Watch (blog)

NatGeo News Watch (blog)
Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:11:10 -0700

Riverine vegetation along a tributory of the Turkwel River in South Turkana National Reserve, north-western Kenya. Photograph by Yvonne de Jong and Tom Butynski. In December 2012, we surveyed Nasalot National Reserve in West Pokot District and ...

Water World

Water World
Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:46:23 -0800

Situated a short distance from Turkana's oil reserves, the second reserve is fed by the perennial Turkwel River and has an estimated reserve of 10 billion cubic meters. Judi Wakhungu, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural ...
Think Africa Press
Fri, 01 Mar 2013 03:44:13 -0800

... the government would have had to pay through a competitive tender process, that the proposed location of the power station was on dangerous tectonic fault lines, and that the flow of the Turkwel river from which power was to be generated was ...
Mon, 13 Feb 2012 03:51:59 -0800

Irrigated agriculture would be successful along the upper and middle reaches of the Turkwel River because of the controlled flow that is aided by the hydro-electric power station at Turkwel Gorge. Water flows throughout the year at Loyapat, Nakwamoru ...

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