Lake Cheleleka at risk of drying up

Konjit Teshome


It was the area where formerly known for being centre of recreation by traditional and motor boats and giving astonishing landscape to walk all around the edge of the lake. But, now almost nearly 80 percent of the land formerly constituted by water body of the lake is dried and serving as farming plot. Especially on the north and eastern part of the lake, vast farming activities are being taken place. There are also unrestricted cattle grazing areas. 
Lake Cheleleka was among eight lakes of Bishoftu city, which is believed to be formed by the rain waterfalls from the surrounding hills. Particularly this lake is well known for being seasonal home from September to March, for thousands of birds and flamingos, which are known for their recycling migration in eastern Africa. It gives amazing view to see a group of flamingos, flying together and settling here for some periods.
Bishoftu City Administration, Culture and Tourism Bureau said that, even though the bureau has observed the critical problem and could guess some major causes.“ Regarding to exerting efforts in solving the problem are beyond our capacity and we have written letter to the State culture and tourism bureau.”
According to Bureau’s Acting Director Bekele Tefera who is also Senior Expert in Tourism Extension in his exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, he said in addition to the aforementioned situations, the city’s drainage system, which formerly feeds the floods to the lake, has been converted to Lake Bishoftu with the newly build drainage system of the city.
“But in order to identify the overall real causes for diminishing of the lake’s water and to restore it, scientific expertise research is needed with due budget and attention,” Bekele noted. He also stressed that, even in order to take some temporary measures until then, the investment in farming which is owned by foreign investors, since the regime of Haile Selassie , become a problem, in that they have federal government’s licence.
If the situation continues in the same way, anyone can guess that; after few years, the lake will completely dry up . This reporter found that, the city’s administration or its culture and tourism bureau including the regional concerned offices have not given due attention and are not pay all possible efforts in order to save the lake. Therefore concerned bodies should give due and attention to save this water body as soon as possible, which in turn can pay back by far double time for the nation.