Tanzania says Lake Manyara “drying up,” threatening flamingo, hippo habitat

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A senior Tanzanian government official has voiced concerns over Lake Manyara’s diminishing water levels, calling for more efforts to save the key tourist attraction from drying up.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Gaudence Milanzi said on Sunday a balance between wildlife conservation and human activities should be achieved as water level in the lake, which is home to flamingoes and hippopotamus, continued to diminish at an alarming rate.
“Lake Manyara National Park is drying up fast, at 5 percent every year, caused by human activities,” Milanzi told 13 permanent secretaries from different ministries on a visit to Lake Manyara National Park to assess the effects of human activities on the lake.

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“This task calls for the attention of more than one ministry,” he said. “That is why we have come together to find ways of saving the lake.”
Milanzi said each of the 13 ministries has a role to play in saving the lake, which is home to a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife.

Yustina Kiwango, an ecologist with Lake Manyara National Park, said water level in the lake has dropped from 20 meters to 5 centimeters over the years.
“You can actually drive across the lake,” she said.
According to Kiwango, the effects of human activities in the lake have resulted in the disappearance of some water species, including the flamingoes.
The situation inside the lake has also made it difficult for the survival of the hippopotamus, Kiwango added.

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