Why don't lakes with waterfalls dry up?
Dried up Victoria Falls: This is what it really looks like right now
In the past few days, the Internet has presented a disturbing picture: The Victoria Falls in northwest Zimbabwe, a world natural heritage site, have dried up? During wetter times, the falls are twice as high as the famous Niagara Falls and one and a half times in width. The photos of the almost completely dried up Victoria Falls caused worldwide concern. The images stir up fears that climate change could dry out Victoria Falls forever.
In fact, the Victoria Falls always look different depending on which side of the country you look at it. The falls feed from the Zambezi River, the fourth longest river in Africa. It separates Zambia from Zimbabwe and cuts deep into the flat land at Victoria Falls. In the rainy season, between November and March, when the river carries most of the water, the world's largest water curtain arises there, measured in terms of height and width.
If you look at the waterfalls from the side of Zambia, towards the end of the dry season it is always drier than the opposite side of Zimbabwe. "The photo that is circulating on the Internet was taken from the Zambia site," says Bettina Evans of the travel agency Pinto Africa. This gives the impression that the cases have completely dried up. In fact, from Zimbabwe's point of view, this is the current picture:
"It rained more in Victoria Falls this year than it did last year around the same time," Evans continues. That does not mean that Zimbabwe is not struggling with the consequences of the dry season. However, it is wrong to measure this in terms of Victoria Falls. Carina Grüninger from Safari Destinations was also there at the beginning of December and confirmed this picture: "The photo that was circulating on the Internet was taken of a 200-meter section". However, the falls are 1.7 kilometers wide. That distorts the picture. "The water level on the Zambezi River has risen by six centimeters since the end of November, and it rained heavily again last week."
Nonetheless, the country of Zimbabwe is facing the worst hunger crisis in ten years. In addition to the drought, this is due to the decades of mismanagement under long-term ruler Robert Mugabe, who was overthrown in 2017 and died in September. More than half of the 14 million inhabitants do not always know where the next meal will come from, said the representative of the World Food Program (WFP), Eddie Rowe, in the capital Harare last week.
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