Tana River (Kenya)

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Tana
DM-SD-01-06042.jpg
Location
Physical characteristics
Mouth 
 - location
into Indian Ocean
 - coordinates
2°35′56″S 40°20′19″E / 2.599006°S 40.338621°E / -2.599006; 40.338621Coordinates: 2°35′56″S 40°20′19″E / 2.599006°S 40.338621°E / -2.599006; 40.338621
Length800 km (500 mi)

The 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long Tana River is the longest river in Kenya, and gives its name to the Tana River County.[1] Its tributaries include the Thika, as well as several smaller rivers that flow only during the rainy season. The river rises in the Aberdare Mountains to the west of Nyeri. Initially it runs east before turning south around the massif of Mount Kenya. The river then runs into the Masinga Reservoir and Kiambere Reservoir, created by Masinga and Kiambere dams respectively]. Masinga and Kiambere reservoirs serve a dual purpose, hydro-electric power (HEP) generation and agricultural irrigation. Three further dams are located between Masinga and Kiambere, namely (in order of cascading) Kamburu, Gitaru and Kindaruma, that are used exclusively for HEP generation. Below the dams, the river turns north and flows along the north-south boundary between the Meru and North Kitui and Bisanadi, Kora and Rabole National Reserves. In the reserves the river turns east, and then south east. It passes through the towns of Garissa, Hola and Garsen before entering the Indian Ocean at the Ungwana Bay-Kipini area, at the end of a river delta that reaches roughly 30 km upstream from the river mouth itself.[1] It runs through a desert, and irrigates the surrounding land.

Annual flow is above 5,000 million cubic meters (MCM) on average, but varies substantially both within and across years, and includes two flood seasons each year. Between 1944 and 1978, average total flow (at Garissa) was 6,105 MCM, varying from only 1,789 MCM in 1949 to 13,342 MCM in 1968.[2] During the 1982-1996 period, annual flow remained above 5,000 MCM as well.[3] A series of hydroelectric dams have been constructed along the river, including the Kindaruma Dam in 1968, the Kamburu Dam in 1975, the Gitaru Dam in 1978, the Masinga Dam in 1981, and the Kiambere Dam in 1988.[4][5] A 2003 study reported that two-thirds of Kenya's electrical needs were supplied by the series of dams along the Tana River.[6]

Location map of the River Tana

Water is drawn from the river by the following major irrigation projects: Bura Irrigation and Settlement Project, Tana Irrigation Scheme and the Tana Delta Irrigation Project.[7]

Eponyms[edit]

Two species of African reptiles are named after the Tana River: Leptotyphlops tanae and Lygosoma tanae.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nakaegawa T., Wachana C. and KAKUSHIN Team-3 Modeling Group. (2012). "First impact assessment of hydrological cycle in the Tana River Basin, Kenya, under a changing climate in the late 21st Century," Hydrological Research Letters, 6, pp. 29-34.
  2. ^ Hughes, F. (1990). "The Influence of Flooding Regimes on Forest Distribution and Composition in the Tana River Floodplain, Kenya," Journal of Applied Ecology, 27(2), pp. 475-491.
  3. ^ Maingi, J.K. and Marsh, S.E. (2002). "Quantifying hydrologic impacts following dam construction along the Tana River, Kenya," Journal of Arid Environments, 50, pp. 53-79.
  4. ^ Adams, W. M. and Hughes, F. M. R. (1986). "The Environmental Effects of Dam Construction in Tropical Africa: Impacts and Planning Procedures," Geoforum, 17(3), pp. 403-410.
  5. ^ Galadin, H., Bidault, N., Stephen, L., Watkins, B., Dilley, M., and Mutunga, N. (2006). "Reducing the Impacts of Floods through Early Warning and Preparedness: A Pilot Study for Kenya" (PDF). Arnold, Chen, Deichmann, Dilley, Lerner-Lam, Pullen, and Trohanis. Natural Disaster Hotspots Case Studies. The World Bank. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  6. ^ "Tana River, Kenya: integrating downstream values into hydropower planning" (PDF). Case Studies in Wetland Valuation #6. International Union for Conservation of Nature. May 2003. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  7. ^ Government of Kenya 2007. Kenya Vision 2030: a Globally Competitive and Prosperous Kenya.
  8. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Tana", p. 260).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]