Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

Victoria Falls on the brink of drying up after crippling drought [photos]

The Victoria Falls, one of the world’s mighty waterfalls, has been reduced to a spill, after a crippling drought in Southern Africa.

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The Victoria Falls, usually one of the most ferocious waterfalls in the world, has now been reduced to a trickle, after a harsh Southern Africa drought.  

According to the Daily Mail, the Victoria Falls, which lies between Zambia and Zimbabwe, has almost completely dried up and the once deafening roar through the gorge has nearly vanished.

Victoria Falls: Water level plummets 

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A tourist view the majestic Victoria Falls, a tourism attraction for Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, on November 13, 2019. – A series of heat waves has dried most of the vegetation surrounding the UNESCO world heritage site measuring 108 metres high and almost 2km wide in a severe drought. (Photo by ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP)

A few tiny pools of water have collected below the rock face after water levels plummeted by a whopping 50%, said to be the lowest slump in 40 years.  

Climate change has been blamed for the dramatic change in landscape, with Zambia’s President making a plea to Western states to clean up their act on environmental protection.

Vibrant greenery has been ushered away and replaced by brown, ashen grasslands. 

Climate change responsible for dried up waterfall 

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A photograph of the Victoria Falls, a UNESCO world heritage site measuring 108 metres high and almost 2km wide has recorded the lowest levels in recent times due to a severe drought in Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe, on November 13, 2019. (Photo by ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP)

In an intervention geared to stop the crisis spiraling further, Zambian President, Edgar Lungu spelled out the damage being done by global warming.

Lungu 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,” said Lungu.

Tourism board rubbishes climate change  

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Victoria Falls at sunset in 2016 / Adobe Stock

The local tourism board has rubbished the President’s view and dismissed concerns that the future existence of the waterfall is in jeopardy.

“It’s normal to have low water this time of the year but the falls will never dry in our lifetime. We haven’t had as much water as we have had in the past years but it’s not dry.” 

Local Tourism Board

Standing at 355 feet high, the impressive landmark draws thousands of tourists each year and generates much-needed business to the area.

Yet as well as risking the local economy, the drought also throws into chaos, the wildlife living in the surrounding national parks. 

Almost eight million people in Zimbabwe are now believed to be reliant on food packages from overseas aid providers, and species conservation projects have been ramped up. 

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