In Kenya’s Rift valley, lakes are rising. Lake Turkana, Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementaita, Lake Baringo, and Lake Bogoria have all risen, leaving villages, islands, and huge chunks of land completely submerged by the water. Some lakes have been swallowed up by nearby lakes, while others have doubled in size in less than 10 years. The situation in Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria is especially dire, as the more the lakes increase in size the closer they get to each other, and there are fears that the two will combine and become one lake, which would be an ecological disaster as one, Lake Baringo, is a freshwater lake, and the other is an alkaline lake. It is unclear why these lakes are rising in this way.
To some, the enemy is climate change. The rising of these lakes has been going on for years, with increased rainfall leading to the rise in the water levels. To others, the rise in the water level of lakes in the Rift valley is connected to the fact that these lakes are in the East African Rift System, and this valley is rifting, as the tectonic plates deep in the earth’s crust shifts. Therefore, for The Guardian's Longreads section, Carey Baraka explores the rising water levels of these lakes, and writes about the thousands of people (so far) who have been affected, and displaced from their homes, schools, and places of existence.