Global warming exposes a new wound: the once illustrious waterfall Victoria Falls dries up to a soulless ray of water. Tourists are disappointed, for local entrepreneurs the consequences can be much greater
Victoria Falls has been a regular in the top attractions for tourists in southern Africa for decades. The water of the Zambezi River crashed over a width of almost two kilometers 108 meters down. Millions of people have been allowed to marvel at this natural phenomenon. But due to persistent drought, the worst in a century, there is only a pathetic stream left of the Zambezi. Every visitor must now look closely at where the water clatters down
“It’s not the first time we’ve suffered from drought,” says Dominic Nyambe, a 30-year-old who in Livingstone, on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls, has a shop with handicrafts for tourists. ,,But it’s the first time it’s been so bad and that’s what bothers us. There will be fewer visitors.” Benjamin Konig, a student from Germany, is one of them. He’s disappointed. ,,You only see a little bit of water falling down between rocks”, says Konig.
According to zambia’s president, Edgar Lungu, victoria falls’ dryfall shows what climate change is doing. Harald’s going to be a blow to the arm. ,,It is sometimes difficult to attribute an event to global warming. But if this is going to happen more often here, yes, you can indeed call this a result of the change in the climate”, says the scientist. Measurements, meanwhile, show that the region is increasingly struggling with drought. The previous period was still filed three years ago.
Scientist Richard Beilfuss concludes, based on 30 years of research into the Zambezi, that climate warming is slowing down the advent of the monsoon. When the rain arrives, the water falls out of the sky in a shorter time. “This leads to a longer drought season,” says Beilfuss.