Lake Victoria water unsafe to drink

Polluted Lake Victoria has become breeding ground for disease.

The millions of people using Lake Victoria as a source of drinking water are at risk of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery, according to Tanzanian health officials.

The lake is so polluted by sewerage – officials say – that it has become a major breeding ground for waterborne diseases and its water is no longer safe for human consumption.

Citing reports by experts including the World Health Organization, Tanzanian health authorities say that the lake, Africa’s largest fresh water source, is contaminated by widespread sewerage pollution from surrounding towns.

The people living around the lake, whose shores are shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, have been warned not to drink the lake water directly but to boil it first.

The ministry has also advised the local water authority to increase the amount of chlorine in its water supply.

Lake Victoria covers a surface area of 68,800 km2.