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Lodwar is the largest town in northwestern Kenya, located west of Lake Turkana on the A1 road. Its main industries are basket weaving and tourism. The Loima Hills lie to its west. Lodwar is the capital of Turkana County. The town has a population of 48,316.

Food security is an issue.

Turkana is hot and dry for most part of the year. Average rainfall in the plains is about 300- 400 mm falling to less than 150mm in the arid central parts. Rainfall is erratic and unreliable and famine is a constant threat. Turkana has a very poor agricultural potential and is only suitable for extensive rearing of indigenous livestock. The urban population has no real economic alternatives for survival. Due to low productivity of the rangelands and the high variation of rainfall, pastoralists are forced to move frequently from one place to another to search for water and pastures. Yet this movement has to be carefully calculated and monitored due to security situation. Relatively safe areas in the central parts of the district have high concentration of pastoralists as compared to Northern, North-Western and Southern areas, which are prone to armed conflicts and cattle raids.



Human evolution in Turkana Basin

The Turkana Basin Institute South Turkwel campus sits on a high bluff overlooking a bend in the Turkwel River. The compound was constructed by the Institute in 2008 to create a base of operations for field workers interested in the rocks on the west side of the lake. The concept has been in full force for decades on the east side of the lake a permanent camp has hosted years of Leakey-led research into the Koobi Fora outcrops that have yielded early human ancestors such as Homo rudolfensis. The Turkana Basin Institute has established two field stations, on the west and east sides of the Lake. The first of these at Ileret is now fully functional.




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