Lake Jipe

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Lake Jipe
Lake Jipe.png
Coordinates 3°27′0″S 37°43′48″E / 3.45000°S 37.73000°E / -3.45000; 37.73000Coordinates: 3°27′0″S 37°43′48″E / 3.45000°S 37.73000°E / -3.45000; 37.73000
Primary inflows Lumi River
Primary outflows Ruvu River
Basin countries Tanzania and Kenya
Max. length 19 km (12 mi)
Surface area 30 km2 (12 sq mi)

Lake Jipe is an inter-territorial lake straddling the borders of Tanzania and Kenya. On the Tanzanian side, it is situated within Mwanga District, in Kilimanjaro Region while on the Kenyan side, it is located south of the village of Nghonji. The lake is fed mainly by the Lumi River, which descends from Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as streams from the North Pare Mountains, being on the leeward side.[1] The lake's outlet forms the Ruvu River.[2] Kenya's unfenced Tsavo West National Park protects part of the lake's northern shore, while on the Tanzania side Mkomazi Game Reserve is nearby.[3] The lake is known for its endemic fish, as well as water birds, mammals, wetland plants and lake-edge swamps, which can extend 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Jipe's shore.[4]

Geography[edit]

The lake is accessible via the B1 Highway from the village of Kifaru, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of the Tanzanian town of Moshi.[5] Jipe covers an area of roughly 30 square kilometres (12 sq mi),[1] and measures approximately 12 miles (19 km) long by 3–4 miles (4.8–6.4 km) broad. Jipe is a shallow backwater of the Lumi river, which afterwards becomes the Ruvu River, and enters in the Nyumba ya Mungu Reservoir. After joining there with the Kikuletwa the stream flows as Pangani River in the Indian Ocean at Pangani. The lake lacks a current as the river that flows in, turns round and flows out again. Its water is only drinkable after it has been well boiled and skimmed. On its southern bank, the mountains of Ugweno rise 6,000–7,000 feet (1,800–2,100 m), contrasting markedly with the opposite shore, which is a flat plain, but little raised above the lake.[6] Mount Kilimanjaro's Kibo Peak is viewable from the lake.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Some 120,000 people depend on the lake for their livelihood.[1] The inhabitants of villages surrounding Lake Jipe are mainly involved in fishing, agriculture and animal husbandry.[1] To the south-east of the great mountain is the little agricultural colony of Taveita. Ki-taveita is the language used by the Bantu half of the population, and Maasai is the language of the remainder. Ki-gweno is the dialect of the Ugweno mountains (Ugono) to the south of Lake Jipe. Lake water is used for irrigation of the surrounding farmlands.[7]

Fauna[edit]

The probability of long-time isolation from other wetlands is suggested by a fish endemic to the lake, the Jipe tilapia.[8] Jipe's waters are teeming with big fish, principally siluroids and cyprinoids. Jipe forms a biodiversity rich ecosystem also known for the water birds that frequent its reedy shores; these include storks, egrets, pelicans, spur-winged plovers, ducks, and Egyptian geese.[6] Lesser Jacana and the Purple Gallinule are common on the lake despite being rare in other parts of Africa and Madagascar Squacco Heron, Black Heron, African Darter and African Skimmers are often seen.[1] The vicinity of the lake is frequented by herds of game. Hippopotami and crocodiles are plentiful.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Wildlife Division, The United Republic of Tanzania (May 2004). "Lake Jipe Awareness Raising Strategy (2005 – 2007)". ramsar.org. p. 6. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Ndetei, Robert. "The role of wetlands in lake ecological functions and sustainable livelihoods in lake environment: A case study on cross border Lake Jipe - Kenya/Tanzania". Kenya Wildlife Service. p. 163. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Briggs, Philip (1 August 2006). Bradt Tanzania: With Zanzibar,m Pemba & Mafia. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-1-84162-153-1. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Maltby, Edward (2009). The wetlands handbook. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 854–. ISBN 978-0-632-05255-4. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Briggs, Philip (1 August 2009). Northern Tanzania, 2nd: The Bradt Safari Guide with Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 141–. ISBN 978-1-84162-292-7. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c Johnston, Sir, Harry Hamilton (1886). The Kilima-Njaro expedition: A record of scientific exploration in eastern equatorial Africa. And a general description of the natural history, languages, and commerce of the Kilima-Njaro district (Now in the public domain. ed.). K. Paul, Trench, and co. pp. 298, 494–. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Taita Taveta District profile". Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands. 
  8. ^ Briggs, Philip (1 September 2011). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Kenya. Penguin. pp. 189–. ISBN 978-0-7566-8445-7. Retrieved 26 September 2011.