Experts commented today that about two million Ethiopians depend directly on Tana and also on the surrounding wetlands and farms, according to the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), a non-governmental organization focused on sustainability and conservation in the region.
The steady growth of the water hyacinth has already taken its toll, particularly on the western side of the reservoir, a popular area among fishermen, breeders and farmers.
This wide 84-km long and 66-km wide body of water is the largest in the country and has an ecological, cultural and historical charm; it is located in the Amhara highlands.
According to Ayalew Wolde, a scientist and specialist at the Ministry of Water Resources, â€˜our lack of knowledge and climate change have produced this immense tragedy’.
The quick growth of the species is the result of two factors: it has practically no natural predators in the lake and its reproduction is favored by the high temperatures of the area.
As a result, the water level dropped. From 25 meters to 15,’ Wolde lamented.
Fish production has also decreased, the possibility of losing Lake Tana is high and we cannot use chemicals to destroy the plant because people use the liquid to drink, and livestock too,’ he added.
Citizens and workers from ecological institutions such as NABU do the exhausting work of taking back what they can.
From the environmental point of view, Tana is home to exceptional and endangered birds, such as the crowned crane and several migratory birds.
It is also known as the headwaters of the Blue Nile, which flows westward before discharging into the White Nile in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital.