Lake Victoria: Africa’s great miracle

18 perish in Mali boat accident

Photocredit: https://citizentv.co.ke

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Aerial view of lake victoria, photo credit: www.airpano.com

 

From the ancient inland fishing communities to the modern hydro electric projects, and then onto the iconic northern regions where it drains into river Nile, it is a lake that keeps giving.

It has been said that there is no body of water on earth like Lake Victoria. It is the largest lake in Africa and supports the livelihood of millions of homes in three East African countries. Lake Victoria is bordered by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

From fishing communities, irrigation farming to ferry transport and everything in between: Lake Victoria is one of Africa’s great natural spectacles. It is the ninth biggest lake in the world, a whooping 2, 750 cubic kilometer in volume. It stretches more than 70,000 kilometer in length.

Undoubtedly one of the leading sight and sound of East Africa. For hundreds of years, this vast expanse of open water enabled explorers and tribesmen navigate East Africa’s inland regions in search of treasures, cash crops, new lands and other rare minerals.

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john hanning speke, photo credit: www.thefamouspeople.com

It was here that the European explorer, John Hanning Speke thinking it was the primary source of river Nile, named the lake after the British Queen Victoria, in the late 1850s. This will inspire some of the fiercest scientific debates in Europe in those days. A generation boasting some of the finest thinkers in the then emerging scientific world.

Lake Victoria boast an an amazing freshwater environment. Filled with dazzling aquatic wild life.  We are looking at a riverine site filled with ancient African tradition. A  21st century pollution challenge.

It can produce majesty waves and earth shattering thunderstorms. An enduring tribute. A daily hunting ground for tribesmen aiming to bring home goodies for their kids. A booming river-faring culture. Lake Victoria is made up of more than 80 Islands that greets you when viewed from mid air.

It has helped put Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania on the tourism map.

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Victoria falls, photo credit: adventuresinafrica.com

While the impact of the big cities, offloading industrial chemicals, sewage and over-fishing can be telling, it is important to focus on constructive solutions for preserving Africa’s largest lake. This will change the narrative from one of gloom and darkness to hope and conservation.

Local fishermen understand the economic and environmental time bomb they confront.

 

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