The drought in Southern Africa has resulted in the severe drying up of Victoria Falls. This is due to a sharp drop in water volume in the Zambezi River, the Zimbabwean Daily News reported Wednesday.
The river length of 2574 km is the fourth largest in Africa. It runs through six countries of the continent and flows into the Indian Ocean. Victoria Falls appeared in the middle course of the river due to the special geological history of the region. Here 2 million years ago there was a giant lake, which caused a change of landscape and turn in the course of Zambezi itself. Thus, in the area where Victoria is now located, waterfalls have changed their location at least six times.
Victoria Falls is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its natural uniqueness and beauty. Its height is 108 meters, width is 1708 meters.
However, the current drought has led to the shallowing of Zambezi and, as a result, a decrease in the volume of water passing per second through the waterfall. “We now have the lowest flow rate since 1995,” writes Maniueb, a Zimbabwean portal. – As a result, some tourists return from it disappointed”.
However, the prospects for the coming months do not inspire optimism. The current drought continues in Southern Africa for the fourth consecutive year and continues to increase. Thus, this year Namibia has had the least rainfall since 1891. Shallow rivers in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa.
Water and electricity
Drought not only causes problems for the tourism business in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The energy sector of the two countries is also suffering. The waters of Zambezi, having passed Victoria Falls, fill the reservoir of Kariba. Created thanks to the dam of the hydroelectric power plant Kabora, this reservoir with an area of 5.4 thousand square kilometers of water surface is one of the largest in the world. Kabora hydroelectric power plant is jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia. It generates up to half of all electricity consumed by these two neighboring countries. However, the HPP currently operates at 15% of its capacity due to lack of water in the reservoir. For example, Zimbabwe now receives only 10% of the usual amount of electricity from the Kabora hydroelectric power plant.
As a result, there have been long blackouts in the country. For private households, they now last up to 18 hours a day. Initially, the management of Zimbabwe’s energy sector guaranteed that the country’s most important industrial facilities would not suffer from a shortage of electricity. However, the country’s Chamber of Mines sent a letter last Tuesday to Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mtuli Nkube, noting that the mines are now without electricity for three days a week. As a result, production this year will drop by 30 percent, the document said.