Long live the queen

The success of many Pharaoh relied on the strength of the Nile River, but little realized their fate was determined further upstream. The source was also the search for fame among many explorers and has etched John Henning Speke into history.

Though it had been known to locals and first officially documented by Arabs, the British explorer Speke is credited with the discovery of Lake Victoria in 1858, considered the source of the longest river in the world (Brittanica Online Edition).

Source of the White Nile at Lake Victoria

Bearing the name of the 19th century monarch, the lake stands second only to Superior in freshwater surface size and can boast outliving our species according to worldlakes.org.

Myself in the front of the boat overlooking Lake Victoria. Holding 2,750 cubic kilometers of water, or about 605 million gallons, Victoria is the largest freshwater tropical lake (Brittanica Online, picture taken by Joe Garnett).

While the lake has had its own history of natural problems, including running dry, its main concerns today are manmade. The area around the lake is densely populated by human development, which dumps much of its waste into the lake.

BBC News mentions political turmoil surrounding the damming of the lake for hydroelectric power. Current notoriety of the lake centers on discussions for a new water usage agreement meant to replace the colonial era agreement that governs the individual use by each country.



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