“The Slow Death of an Ethiopian Lake”

Desta, Hayal | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Hayal, Desta. “The Slow Death of an Ethiopian Lake.” Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review, no. 3 (May 2023).

I first had the opportunity to visit Lake Ziway when I studied biology as an undergraduate at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, in the mid-1990s. Locals fished the lake, and it served as a source of water for the residents of the nearby town, Batu, formerly known as Ziway. Back then, no investment projects had begun in the lake area. The waterfront was covered in acacia vegetation, making it nearly impossible to see from a distance.

When I returned to the area in 2012, the vegetation around the lake had disappeared. The Meki River, which feeds into Lake Ziway, had experienced a drastically reduced flow and occasionally ran dry. The lake had receded from where it was in the 1990s, and the retreated area had been turned into farmland. Fifteen years after my first visit, Ziway was ringed by flower farms, resort hotels, and irrigated land. (From the article)

This article was originally published in Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review. The journal is an online publication featuring peer-reviewed articles, creative nonfiction, and artistic contributions that showcase the work of the Rachel Carson Center and its community across the world.

2023 Hayal Desta

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This license refers only to the text and does not include any image rights.
Please see captions in the PDF for individual licenses.