Lakes of Ethiopia

Posted: December 16, 2013 in Lakes of Ethiopia
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Ethiopia is a county in the Horn of Africa with an estimated are of around 1.1million km2. It is often referred as the Water Tower of Africa. Around 70,000 km2 area is covered with natural inland water bodies including rivers, lakes, and associated wetlands.

Ethiopia lakes are associated with riveriene, lacustrine, palustrine and floodplain wetlands. Lakes and wetlands are fundamental parts of life interwoven into the structure and welfare of Ethiopian societies and natural ecosystems.

Distribution of Lakes

The distribution of lakes in Ethiopia highly related to the geomorphological setup of Ethiopia’s three major physiographic regions; the rift valley, escarpments and highlands.

The majority of the Ethiopia lakes are confined within the rift valley that extends from the Kenyan border in the south to the Afar Depression in the north.  The Ethiopian Rift Valley can be divided into four systems;

  1. Lake Turkana
  2. Lake Chew Bahir
  3. The Main Ethiopian Rift valley and
  4. The Afar depression that includes the Dankil Depression

On the basis of topographic position lakes can be broadly categorized into the rift and highland systems. Only few small lakes are present in the transitional escarpments.


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