Located in Kapedo, Turkana East is a red blood like alkaline lake. As the lake dries out, its salinity increases. The warm water’s high salt concentration makes what’s left of the lake a prime breeding ground for dunaliella algae, which turns the water blood-red. The color of the lake is characteristic of those where very high evaporation rates occur. As water evaporates during the dry season, salinity levels increase to the point that salt-loving microorganisms begin to thrive. Such halophile organisms include some cyanobacteria that make their own food with photosynthesis as plants do. The red accessory photosynthesizing pigment in the cyanobacteria produces the deep reds of the open water of the lake and the orange colors of the shallow parts of the lake. The alkali salt crust on the surface of the lake is also often colored red or pink by the salt-loving microorganisms that live there.
‘Red’ Lake in Kapedo, Turkana