Who Shares the Lake?
by Tish Farrell
Imagine you're a fish eagle soaring over the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Africa. What do you see? There are many lakes in the valley below, but the water in most of them is too salty to drink. You know one lake that has good, fresh water—Lake Naivasha. Other animals know Lake Naivasha, too. Fresh water is important to everyone in this dry part of Africa.
® Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy
The lake looks quiet now, but giraffes and zebras, antelope and buffalo, and sometimes even leopards, come to drink the water.
Birds visit the lake to find fish to eat. Eagles spot fish from the air and dive down to catch them. The long-legged Goliath heron stays close to shore, wading in shallow water to find its lunch.
Cormorants can just hop out of their nests to go fishing. A tree grew when part of the lake dried up. Years later, heavy rains filled the lake again and surrounded the tree with water.
Hippos wallow all day in the lake to keep cool. At night they eat grass along the shore.
People come to the lake to fish, too. As they spread their nets in the shallow water, they must take care not to disturb the hippos.
Farmers use the water from Lake Naivasha to grow vegetables and flowers. They send roses and carnations to markets around the world. It's another way to share the beauty of the lake.
- What might happen to the people and animals around Lake Naivasha if the lake dried up? Why?
[anno: The people and animals around Lake Naivasha would have to find new homes if the lake dried up. The people and animals depend on the lake for food and water.]
- What is an important body of water near you? How do people use this body of water? Write a sentence or two to explain your answer.
[anno: Answers will vary but should include the name of a river, a lake, or an ocean. Students should write how people use the resources from this body of water.]