Lake Victoria is crying for help from all the countries it serves, the East African Countries. It is one of the greatest fresh water lake in Africa. In fact , it the second largest lake in the world based on its surface area. The name was coined by an explorer who named it after the Queen Victoria.
This magnificent lake is divided among three countries. Namely :
This lake is fed by both rainfall and rivers. Surprisingly , the rainfalls contribute 80% of its water. The rivers feeding this lake includes Kagera, Sio, Nzoia, Yala, Nyando, Sondu Miriu, Mogusi, and Migori. It only has one outlet river. The outlet river being the Nile river.
This lake is home of a wide range of wildlife species. With the wetlands around it, it has created a habitat to many wildlife species. It does host huge numbers of diverse fish species including the endemic ones.
Problems facing Lake Victoria
Introduction of invasive fish species
Some of the introduced invasive species includes the tilapia, redbreast, red-belly, Nile perch, among others. These species have greatly contributed to the balance disruption in the lake. Some of the fish species end up being extinct while the remaining ones reduced in numbers.
This is the major threat to the lake. being divided between three countries adds significant weight on this. Major contributor of pollution is waste disposal. Most of the sewage end up in this lake. The surrounding industries and companies have also being disposing off their waste into the lake.
In Kenya, farmers have been using fertilizer on their farms. These farms are near the lake. And after rains, all the fertilizer find their way into the lake. This in return causes eutrophication. Which promoted excessive growth of unwanted weeds on the lake.
In Tanzania, farming on the slopes have contributed to soil erosion. Most of the swept soils end up in the lake. Just like in Kenya, they do use fertilizers that are carried by water into the lake.
In Uganda, the extraction of gold from ore has promoted use of mercury. The used mercury is disposed into the lake. Mercury is one of the dangerous metals. The mercury is consumed by the fish which are consumed by humans. This a great danger to both human and animal’s health.
Over-fishing and illegal fishing has been a problem to this lake. Fishermen have not been able to allow the lake sufficient time to refill. This has greatly affected the fish populations. It has also led to endangerment and extinction of some fish species.
Water extraction has also been a problem. Huge amounts of water have been extracted for farming and other uses. With the long dry season, the lake has not been having huge amounts of water as expected. This has lead to its shrinkage.
Invasion of the water hyacinth
This a very dangerous invasive plant species. It grows within a short period of time and spreads very fast. Growth of this plant species is contributed by the poor waste management released into the lake. Eutrophication provides a conducive environment for the growth of this weed.
Interesting fact about Lake Victoria
Geological studies have shown that the lake has dried up completely a few times in the past. The last time was approximately 17,300 years ago.