Thursday, July 7, 2011

Major efforts still needed to clean up Lake Titicaca

Franz Chávez in IPS via Tierramérica: Efforts to combat pollution in Lake Titicaca, which straddles the borders of Peru and Bolivia high up in the Andes mountains, have shown slightly better results in Puno Bay on the Peruvian side, but have barely made a difference in Cohana Bay on the Bolivian side, according to local fishers and specialists interviewed by Tierramérica.

At 3,810 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. It has a total surface area of 8,562 square kilometers, of which 3,790 lie on the Bolivian side of the border and 4,772 are in Peru.

Its deep blue waters are a source of livelihoods for 400,000 people who make a living from fishing, harvesting its vegetation for use as livestock feed, and building boats from the totora reeds that grow in the lake, using techniques that date back to pre-Columbian times.

But the inhabitants of the Puno region in southeastern Peru are deeply concerned by the current state of the lake’s waters. In May, Aymara indigenous communities in the region staged a two-week roadblock on the international highway used to transport Bolivian export goods through Peru to the Pacific Ocean. The roadblock was aimed at protesting new mining concessions that could lead to even further contamination of Lake Titicaca, which already receives the waste effluents of six Peruvian gold and uranium mines....

Puerto de Puno on Lake Titicaca, shot by Alfredobi

No comments: