Lake Victoria, African lifeline regularly hit by sinkings

Nairobi (AFP) – Lake Victoria is the biggest lake in Africa and crossed every day by scores of boats that are often poorly maintained and overloaded, making them vulnerable to poor weather.

Here is some background on the vast lake where more than 100 people drowned on Thursday when a ferry capsized.

– Largest in Africa –

With a surface of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), oval-shaped Lake Victoria is the biggest on the African continent.

Shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, it provides the livelihood for some 30 million people, many of them poor and dependent on fishing.

The lake has however seen a dramatic fall in water levels since 2003 and increased pollution.

English explorer John Hanning Speke named it after Britain’s Queen Victoria after he reached it in 1858 during an…

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