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Satellite images used to compare Africa

Africa’s 600-plus lakes are under unprecedented strain from rising populations and must be managed better if demand for fresh water is not to stir instability. Some lakes are shrinking due to deforestation, climate change or poor farming methods according to a recent report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, based on a comparison of contemporary satellite imagery of Africa’s lakes and satellite photographs taken over recent decades, was released recently at the opening of an international conference on lakes in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Experts have commented that on a continent where most people have no access to safe drinking water, the study should serve as a strong warning about the need for better environmental policies. The report is called Africa’s Lakes: An Atlas of Environmental Change.