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The Influence of Climate Change and Human-Induced Environmental Degradation on Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria basin, an international water body that offers the riparian communities a large number of important benefits, has in the last four decades experienced drastic environmental changes, with a significant drop in its water level in the more recent years. The changes in water level have significantly affected the energy supply in the region and threatened the lives of the riparian population engaged, directly and indirectly, in subsistence and commercial fishing, and the agricultural and industrial sectors. The reduction in lake levels has attracted conflicting speculation. Environmentalists attribute it to reduced rainfall experienced in the East African region, while hydrologists blame it on environmental degradation and excessive water release through the operations of the Kiira-Nalubale hydroelectric power dams at Jinja. This research provides evidence of long-term environment changes in Lake Victoria and a contribution to the understanding of the past environmental conditions in the lake basin. It provides the history of human environment interactions, including the possible cause for the dynamics of the lake levels, giving possible options that can help to remedy and/or mitigate the environmental degradation in the region.
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