Environment & Ecology
In News: One of the largest lakes in the world, Lake Victoria, has been suffering from a variety of unsustainable human activities over the last five decades. Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment and National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Tanzania have jointly released a report on managing its water quality.
About Lake Victoria:
- Lake Victoria and its flora and fauna support the livelihoods of about 45 million people.
- The ecologically unique water body is shared by three countries — Tanzania (51 per cent), Uganda (44 per cent) and Kenya (5 per cent).
- Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by surface area after Lake Superior in North America.
- Occupies a shallow depression in Africa.
- The lake was renamed after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, the first Briton to document it in 1858, while on an expedition with Richard Francis Burton
Findings & Suggestions of the Report
- Identified Mwanza city as a hotspot, contributing a substantial pollution load in the form of industrial effluents, domestic sewage and dumping of solid waste.
- It also recognised two rivers — the Mirongo and the Nyashishi — as the major water bodies carrying domestic and industrial pollution loads, respectively.
- Results of the sampling exercise showed substantial pollutant load in the rivers, which may be getting discharged in the lake.
- The water from the Nyashishi is extensively used for agricultural purposes before it meets the lake.
- The focus on the Nyashishi should now be doubled as any pollutant in the river, along with affecting the water quality of Lake Victoria, may also adversely impact crops and human health.
News Source: Down to Earth
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