In Nicaragua, a Chinese company is building what is expected to become one of the world’s largest inter oceanic canals, connecting the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. But many are worried that the fate of Central America’s largest lake is at risk. CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reported this story from near Lake Nicaragua.
Many fear Nicaragua Canal project will harm country\'s largest lakeIn Nicaragua, a Chinese company is building what is expected to become one of the world's largest inter oceanic canals, connecting the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. But many are worried that the fate of Central America's largest lake is at risk. CCTV America's Franc Contreras reported this story from near Lake Nicaragua.
Lake Nicaragua has more than 350 islands, and many of which are populated. Many of the people living in those islands make their living directly from the lake itself.
For years, fisherman Ignacio Salablanca has fed his family with the money he earns selling freshly-caught fish at a local market.
But many are now worried over plans from the Hong Kong-based Nicaragua Canal Development Group to build a massive inter-oceanic canal spanning 278 kilometers (172.74 miles) across the country, and cutting through the lake.
A Nicaraguan government official said the project includes making parts of Lake Nicaragua deeper by using environmentally-friendly technology. Right now, the lake is too shallow to accommodate the supertankers the canal is expected to bring.
“It does not have to be dredged, in a classical sense. But, you can suck that up, which is much less invasive,” Paul Oquist, a government official said.
Many worry that Nicaragua’s most important source of fresh water will be harmed by the canal project, including 90-year-old poet Ernesto Cardinal who’s spent most of his life writing about the lake.
“It would be more advantageous for Nicaragua to sell potable water from the lake, instead of exposing it to giant ships crossing through a trans-oceanic canal,” Cardinal said.
Environmentalists are worried that shipping contamination will forever change the ecosystem, but the Nicaraguan government pledged to use the highest environmental standards to ensure this body of fresh water remains clean.