Drying African lakes pose health threat

Nov 02, 2005

A U.N. report this week warns of unprecedented deterioration of Africa's 677 largest lakes, with Lake Victoria dropping three feet during the past decade.

Rapidly increasing populations, climate change, deforestation, poor farming methods and pollution are blamed for the problem, the Times of London reported.

Although Lake Victoria is the source of the White Nile, of most concern is the Volta river basin in West Africa, which is shared by Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo, and where resources are now at the breaking point, the Times said.

Former German Environment Minister Klaus Töpfer, now executive director of the U.N. Environmental Program, presented the report during the 11th annual World Lakes Conference, being held this week in Nairobi.

The report presents past and current satellite pictures to demonstrate the increasing dangers to African lakes, which contain about 7,200 cubic miles of water -- the largest volume on any continent.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

15 hours ago

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Bondi beach cameras eye more Aussie rescues

Dec 07, 2014

Australia's best known lifeguard Bruce 'Hoppo' Hopkins knows there's nothing better than the naked eye to spot the dangers of the surf—rip currents and sharks.

Climate capers of the past 600,000 years

Nov 17, 2014

If you want to see into the future, you have to understand the past. An international consortium of researchers under the auspices of the University of Bonn has drilled deposits on the bed of Lake Van (Eastern ...

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

Dec 19, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.