The Slow Death of Africa's Greatest Lake

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 | Mwanza, Tanzania (map)

Near Mwanza, local kids show off their share of the daily catch, which continues to dwindle under environmental pressures.
The Spring 2007 issue of the Georgetown University Journal of the Environment (Vol. III, pp. 42-47) includes a piece I wrote, drawing on much of the research I did last summer while studying the local ecology in Mwanza, Tanzania, on Lake Victoria's southern shore. I've reprinted it here; please enjoy:

The Slow Death of Africa’s Greatest Lake:
The Environmental and Social Impacts of the "Modernization" of Lake Victoria

by Andrew Farrand

In the past several decades, the ecosystem of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, has witnessed a dramatic decline. This transformation is the result of the so-called "modernization" of the lakeshore economies in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania and their integration into the global economy. As the region’s human population has expanded rapidly in recent decades—reaching over 30 million