Lake Marmara in Manisa province dries up

Lake Marmara in Manisa province dries up

Lake Marmara in Manisa province dries up

Lake Marmara, a major bird sanctuary in the western province of Manisa, has dried up due to drought.

The lake offers shelter to some 20,000 waterfowls, including endangered bird species, such as cormorants and pelicans.

The lake has been a source of livelihoods of a number of families in the surrounding neighborhoods, but the fishing activities have come to a complete halt because of the low water level.

The water level has retreated to as low as 50 centimeters, which makes it impossible for locals to go for fishing.

The drought also hinders irrigation in the surrounding agricultural lands.

“We have not seen such a drought in many years. Normally, in these times of the year the lake’s surface would be full of fishing boats. Fishing activities have completely stopped. We need officials to help us,” said Selim Selvioğlu, the muhtar (local head) of the Tekelioğlu neighborhood.

Lake Marmara provides water for irrigation to 40 neighborhoods in three districts, according to Cem Yalvaç, the head of the Chamber of Agriculture in Salihli.

“The drought in the region is rather serious. Lake Marmara is very important both for this area and the entire Aegean region. It is home to thousands of birds. No bird or any other animal is left in the lake now,” Yalvaç added.