GLOBE Africa Lake Victoria Learning Expedition
The GLOBE Regional Office for Africa will undertake to train, equip, support, and evaluate schools on the shores of Lake Victoria in water monitoring and to engage schools around the world in learning about the lake and in comparing measurements with data from other lakes. The initial start will be with two schools in each of the countries bordering the lake – Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. A third school in each country will likely be added early in the program. The grant supplies the required monitoring equipment to enable the Lake Victoria Learning Expedition to proceed. All data will be taken following GLOBE protocols and will be reported to GLOBE.
Lake Victoria is Africa's largest lake, by area, covering more than 68,800 square kilometers. It is the second largest fresh water lake in the world, by surface area, after Lake Superior in North America. Lake Victoria is the lifeblood for the people of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda who rely on its waters for its huge fishing industry. But water pollution, over fishing and ecological destruction (through invasive species) have many worried about its future. GLOBE students and other citizen scientists in the region will be able to contribute scientifically through data collection and research on the Lake, which is sure to evolve during the course of the expeditions in years to come.
Progress to Date
On 15 March 2016, Mark Brettenny and his team held a workshop for seven project scientists from various programs of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The workshop focused on atmosphere, landcover and hydrosphere protocols. Initial training was held for 13 teachers from Homa Bay School and 1 teacher from St. William Osodo Secondary School. Homa Bay will be the supporting hub for the project in Kenya. Future plans call for the inclusion of additional schools in neighboring countries with rivers that also feed into Lake Victoria. In addition, those measuring water properties in other lakes will be encouraged to share their data and engage in comparisons of lakes around the world.