Which one of the following lakes of West Africa has become dry and turned into a desert?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2022 Prelims]
(a) Lake Victoria
(b) Lake Faguibine
(c) Lake Oguta
(d) Lake Volta
- Lake Faguibine is a secluded lake situated in Mali, located to the west of Timbuktu (Tombouctou). It is positioned north of the Niger River within the Macina depression and can be accessed through branches of the Niger during times of flooding.
- At its peak water level, the lake measures about 50 miles (80 km) in length and has been considered one of the largest lakes in West Africa.
- Over the course of the twentieth century, Lake Faguibine has experienced significant fluctuations in water levels. However, it has been observed that the lake’s water levels have been steadily decreasing due to a drop in precipitation since the late 1980s.
- This decline in water levels has led to increased aridity in the region, and by the late 1990s, traditional livelihoods such as fishing, agriculture, and livestock herding became impractical.
- Despite normal rainfall resuming after 2000, the lake has remained nearly dry. The changes in the lake’s water levels can be seen in the false-color Landsat satellite images, depicting its transformation over the decades.
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.