By Priyanshi Mathur
Also known as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, the world’s largest waterfall – Victoria Falls – is struggling to live, after a prolonged drought affecting much of Southern Africa. Situated on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, it is not unusual for Victoria Falls to run low on water during the dry season, according to reports.
However, this year, water flow is at its lowest. The Zambian President, Edgar Lungu, has said that the drying up of the Victoria Falls is linked to climate change, and he warned people that one day they could disappear entirely.
“Do we want to pass on the Zambezi without the mighty Victoria Falls? It’s a serious problem, a genuine one. And it is surprising when people trivialise it and say ‘climate change is not real’. Probably they’re living in a different world. But this world we live in, Zambia, we are feeling the effects of climate change really adversely. And it is impacting on everyone,” he told Sky News.
The President also said that things can change only if the rich countries do more to combat climate change and help poor nations. In a country like Zambia, which is heavily dependent on hydropower, droughts such as this, mean millions of people will go hungry.
Both Zambia and Zimbabwe have daily power cuts, and the situation is so grim, that the country is battling food shortage because of the extended drought. More than two million people in Zambia and seven million people in Zimbabwe, go to bed hungry.
Lungu further said, “We have no time to play politics with climate change. It’s a serious problem and a genuine one and we are surprised when people trivialise it and say it’s not real. They are living in a different world but this world we live in Zambia we are feeling the effects of climate change very adversely and they’re impacting on everyone… everyone.”
In October, the Zambian President tweeted pictures of Victoria Falls with minimum water, describing them as a ‘stark reminder of what climate change is doing to our environment and our livelihood’.
We all know climate change is real, and it’s happening right now; we are all living and experiencing its devastating effects on our lifestyles and the planet at large. Hopefully, the threat to this natural wonder will do something to wake us up from our ignorant slumber, because if it does really disappear, it would only be the beginning of a bigger catastrophe.