Victoria Falls On The Verge Of Drying Up

by Darshit Singh 4 years ago Views 3774

Victoria Falls On The Verge Of Drying Up
Known locally as ‘Mosi Oa Tunya’ - The Smoke That Thunders, Victoria Falls, Africa’s biggest waterfall and one of the world’s wonders, is at risk of drying up.

Drought has brought down water flow at Africa’s Victoria Falls to its lowest level in almost 25 years.

Flow has dropped to 3,850 cubic feet per second, reports say. The lowest flow on record is 3,496 cubic feet per second, recorded in October 1986, according to the Zambezi River Authority.

Victoria Falls sits on the Zambezi River between two countries, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and the flow of the watercourse fills the site of the two countries’ largest power plants from the Kariba Dam.

The Zambezi River water level annually drops to its lowest around November/early December but experts believe drought and lowest seasonal rainfalls since the benchmark year of 1981 in parts of southern and western Zambia have worsened the situation further.

Zambia’s President Edgar Chagwa Lungu put the blame on climate change and shared photos on his Twitter handle of the dry rock walls which are usually covered by the falls.

"These pictures of the Victoria Falls are a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment and our livelihood," Lungu wrote. "It is with no doubt that developing countries like Zambia are the most impacted by climate change and the least able to afford its consequences."

He quoted Republican Political Consultant Whit Ayres: “Denying the basic existence of climate change is no longer a credible position.”

The drought has forced both countries to severely limit their electricity generation on the Zambezi, where the lake is only 15% full.

“We are dangerously close to a level where we have to cut off power generation,” said Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on Nov 21.

Drying up of the Victoria Falls also means a likely loss of millions of dollars generated by both the countries from tourist visits.

David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view the falls on 16 November 1855 and named it in honour of Queen Victoria of Britain.

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