LAKES IN CAMEROON

C’EST LA VIE…AND NOW IN CAMEROON

An old volcanic crater that has filled up with water over the years sonce Mount Cameroon erupted. The 16 mile trek to this crator through forest was a tough one, but well worth if for the view. This photograph does not do the viewtotal justice, in that you cannot really see the sheer size of the crater due to foliage blocking out more than two thirds of it. The crater walls rise well above the main forest floor, which you have to climb to get into the crater. When trekking past it, you would not even know it existed, without going up the crater wall and over the other side. For this reason, locals call it, the secret lake. The crator lies midway between the Cameroonian villages of Bakingli and Isobi, approximately 7 miles Northeast of the Mount Cameroon lava flow.

Muanenguba Twin lake

female lake

The glorious views of the Twin Lakes of Muanenguba in Mwaan, the Female and the Male. Above, the Female Lake or Edep. Notice the two small Ndab Echum at the foreground, magnified below

Male Lake or Njumue:

echoing the ancestors of Bakossi

 

 

 

 

The Killer Lakes of Cameroon lake Nyos

Degassing the Lake

It doesn’t take long for the gas concentrations to build back up in the lakes. Lake Nyos is already 60% saturation, and Lake Monoun is at 83% CO2 saturation. Before the lakes erupt again, an international team of scientists funded by the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the French Embassy, and Cameroonian government, are working to vent the gas from the lake bottom to the surface.

Africa’s Toxic Lake – Lake Nyos

9:30PM, August 12, 1986… a cloudy mix of CO2 and water droplets rose violently from Lake Nyos in Cameroon. A 50-m gas cloud rushed down at 100 km/hr and swept through the valleys over a distance of 23 km, killing more than 1,700 people, 3,000 cattle, and numerous birds and So what happened? The locals thought it was the wrath of a spirit woman from local folklore that lives in lakes and rivers. Scientists were asking different questions… why was this event so sudden? Why was this event so tragic?


Here’s the story of how scientists unlocked the secrets of the worst natural disaster in the history of the West African nation of Cameroon… and what they’re doing to try and stop it from happening again.

THE DISCOVERY

On the morning of August 22, 1986, a man hopped onto his bicycle and began riding from Wum, a village in Cameroon, towards the village of Nyos. On the way he noticed an antelope lying dead next to the road. Why let it go to waste? The man tied the antelope onto his bicycle and continued on. A short distance later he noticed two dead rats, and further on, a dead dog and other dead animals. He wondered if they’d all been killed by a lightening lightning strike – when lightening lightning hits the ground it’s not unusual for animals nearby to be killed by the shock.

Soon the man came upon a group of huts. He decided to see if anyone there knew what had happened to the animals. But as he walked up to the huts he was stunned to see dead bodies strewn everywhere. He didn’t find a single person still alive—everyone in the huts was dead. The man threw down his bicycle and ran all the way back to Wum.

Kumba is home to one of the largest markets in West Africa and Lake Barombi Mbo, a volcanic crater lake! The city is the located in the Southwest Region of Cameroon, thus we could speak English. Unfortunately, the English here is much different from American English and I found myself speaking at a slow, over-enunciating manner. Who would have guessed that I would have actually missed speaking French?

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