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Kenya Calls For Urgent Action To Save Receding Lake Victoria

About three percent of the lake's normal volume has been lost in just three years.
by Staff Writers
Nairobi (AFP) June 11, 2007
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Monday called for urgent action to save Lake Victoria, the world's second largest fresh water lake which is facing decline in water levels due to human activities. The lake, which provides livelihoods for some 30 million people in the shoreline countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, has suffered a dramatic fall in water levels since 2003.

"Lake Victoria is today seriously threatened due to receding water levels, soil and waste pollution, over-fishing and a growing decline in the health of its ecosystems," Kibaki said in the lakeside Kenyan city of Kisumu.

"It is imperative that we act urgently and decisively to halt further decline of the lake and the surrounding environment," he added while lanching a three-nation Lake Victoria Basin Commission.

Alarmed by the falling water levels, US green group International Rivers Network warned in a report last year that water levels had plummeted 1.2 metres (3.9 feet), bringing the lake to its lowest point since 1951.

The drop has stranded ferries and fishing vessels and caused water shortages for shoreline towns and farmers.

About three percent of the lake's normal volume has been lost in just three years, it said.

The report accused impoverished Uganda of secretly draining water from Lake Victoria to help maintain power for its electricity grid. Kampala has pledged to cut its water usage.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Understanding What Causes Rain
Delft, Holland (SPX) Jun 11, 2007
Weather models are not good at predicting rain. Particularly in hilly terrain, this can lead to great damage arising from late warnings of floods, or even none at all. From June 1 to September 1, 2007 Delft University of Technology is participating in a major international experiment in Germany's Black Forest, to learn more about what causes rain. Aircraft and an airship are to be used alongside ground-based observatories. Satellites will be used to gather the large-scale information.

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