Drying African lakes pose health threat

November 2, 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: Why thawing permafrost matters

Related Stories

Why thawing permafrost matters

January 12, 2018

In Bethel, Alaska, walls are splitting, houses are collapsing, and the main road looks like a kiddy rollercoaster. In the coastal town of Kongiganak, sinking cemeteries prevent Alaskans from burying their dead in the ground. ...

Snowy owl numbers far lower than once thought

December 21, 2017

Scott Judd trained his camera lens on the white dot in the distance. As he moved up the Lake Michigan shoreline, the speck on a breakwater came into view and took his breath away: it was a snowy owl, thousands of miles from ...

Recommended for you

Cells lacking nuclei struggle to move in 3-D environments

January 20, 2018

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have revealed new details of how the physical properties of the nucleus influence how cells can move around different environments - such as ...

Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency

January 19, 2018

Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine's efficiency ...

Team takes a deep look at memristors

January 19, 2018

In the race to build a computer that mimics the massive computational power of the human brain, researchers are increasingly turning to memristors, which can vary their electrical resistance based on the memory of past activity. ...

Fast computer control for molecular machines

January 19, 2018

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. It allows molecular machines to move a hundred thousand times faster than with the biochemical processes ...

0 comments

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.