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Warming Lake Tanganyika endangers the livelihoods of millions

Scientists have indicated that the continuous warming of Africa’s deepest Lake Tanganyika threatens the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on it for food and employment because it reduces the fish populations.

Over a million people in Tanzania, Zambia, DR Congo and Burundi directly depend on Lake Tanganyika for employment and food. The Lake supports a 200,000 tonne-a-year sardine fishery.

Fishing on Lake Tanganyika

Fishing on Lake Tanganyika

The lead author of the study from the American based Brown University, Jessica Tierney says the warmer lake temperatures leads to declining lake primary productivity of algae growth which affects fish multiplication because fish feeds on algae.

In addition to food loss for fish, Dan Olago, a geologist at the University of Nairobi says the warming of the lake waters slows down free flow of oxygen and nutrients that aquatic organisms like fish need to thrive.

Olga says that reduction in oxygen leads to death and slow multiplication of fish. Reduction in oxygen also affects the lake organism’s food chain and ecosystem.

According to the study, Lake Tanganyika reached its highest temperatures in the last few decades and the authors of the study have attributed the problem to global warming.

Solomon Akugizibwe, Ultimate Media

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