Species in Lake Burunge are in danger because of the farming activities that are taking place along the shores of the lake. Lake Burunge is found at Babati district in Manyara region; This Lake has an area of about 40sqkm and its depth ranges from 7M to 8M. There has been farming activities taking place near the banks of the lake which makes some of the chemicals like pesticide and artificial fertilizers contaminate with lake’s water.
During rainfall season; the cultivated land is eroded and the detached soil are taken away by runoff and carried them to the lake causing siltation of the lake and loss of species because some of them used to breed in areas with a reasonable depth. Speaking to the group of YETs the Babati District fisheries officer said if the situation will continue as it is for few years the number of species in Lake Burunge will highly decrease and later perish.
The chemicals applied in these farms are carried by runoff during rain season towards the lake, these chemicals usually are not suitable for the survival of aquatic species because they affect them directly and indirectly. Chemicals support the growth of algae in the lake. Algae covers the upper part of water so they hinder the penetration of light to the species found at the bottom part of the lake. Furthermore it cause oxygen competition with species in the lake because algae use much of the oxygen during their growth and once they die they use it for decomposition, this brings a bit competition for oxygen with species hence poses a big challenges to species that can not afford to compete for it.
Continuous farming and the use of these chemicals along the lake shores threatens the species especially fish that are useful to the community living nearby this lake which depend on it as source of food, employment and income generation.
More education on the effects of farming and use of chemicals near water bodies is needed to reduce the risks caused by farming activities. Regarding to the importance of Lake Burunge to communities of Babati district and other neighbors communities of Arusha and Manyara region there is a need of making sure it is well protected and closely monitored.
Written by Tulizo Malavanu-YET-2011