Lake Victoria – Africa Great Lakes
Lake Victoria is a huge lake located in east central Africa along the equator and borders the countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake and has a surface area of 26,600 square miles and the largest tropical lake in the world.
Lake Victoria is the world’s second largest freshwater lake measured by surface area. The only larger freshwater lake is Lake Superior in North America. This lake was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and this makes it over 400,000 years old.
It is said that this lake has ever dried up complete so it receives 80%of its water from rain and the rest of the water comes from the rivers that flow into this lake. AKagera river is the largest river that flows into this lake. However, there are 2 rivers that flow out of this lake which is White Nile river Katonga.
This lake was explored way back in 1858 by a European explorer called John Hannington Speke thus naming it after the then Queen of England.
There are a lot of problems that this lake is facing and if no immediate action is taken, it is feared that this lake will dry up very soon and these are the most striking ones;
Pollution: Many towns surround this body of water. These towns dump thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the lake on a daily basis. This coupled with the fertilizer and chemicals from farms cause a huge pollution problem.
Water Hyacinth: This plant was introduced to Africa by Europeans; it reproduces rapidly and covers large areas of the lake. The dense mat of plants block sunlight needed for survival by the life below the surface.
The booming fish-export industry: The demand for fish has been increasing rapidly with the population of Africa. This is bringing the fish populations down to dangerously low levels.
Invasive fish:very many years back,several species of fish have been introduced to Lake Victoria where they have become invasive and a prime reason for the extinction of many endemic fishes and such fish species include:tilapias and Nile perch.Although these have contributed to the extinction of native fish by causing significant changes to the ecosystem, outcompeted natives and threatened native tilapias.