World Famous Victoria Falls Dries Up In Devastating Drought Showing Impact Of Climate Change
The once-cascading Victoria Falls, situated in southern Africa, on the Zambezi River, would leave revellers soaked thanks to spray and mist.
In fact, the Falls were fondly dubbed Mosi-oa-Tunya ('the Smoke that Thunders') because you could hear the crashing water from 12 kilometres away.
But now the spectacle, which lies between Zambia and Zimbabwe, has water levels lower than they've been in 25 years with the average flow down by 50 percent.
Zambia's President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, addressed the issue saying: "These pictures of Victoria Falls are a stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment and our livelihood.
"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."
It is usual for the water level to fall during the dry season (between May and November) but officials have claimed that this year has seen an unprecedented decline.
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According to the Metro, an estimated two million people in Zambia are thought to be hungry and in need of food assistance due to the drought hitting crops and livestock.
Alongside the water level, tourism in Zambia has also dropped - by 40 percent in fact - but locals want to persuade tourists not to overlook the country as a potential destination.
Rodney Sikumba, from the Livingstone Tourist Association told Sky News: "Look at the Grand Canyon. That's still a spectacular sight. So is our Victoria Falls. We want people to come. And there are so many other activities to do throughout Zambia too. We have the Big Five; we have bungee jumping; we have other waterfalls."
President Lungu also told Sky News: "It's [climate change] a serious problem, a genuine one. And it is surprising when people trivialise it and say 'climate change is not real'.
"Probably they're living in a different world. But this world we live in, Zambia, we are feeling the effects of climate change really adversely. And it is impacting on everyone."
The country, which is landlocked, is also heavily dependent on hydropower, and so there have been an increased amount of power cuts.
Zimbabwe's finance minister Mthuli Ncube told Reuters that the water in the Kariba reservoir was at a drastically low point and said: "We are dangerously close to a level where we have to cut off power generation."
Featured Image Credit: Getty
Topics: World News
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