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Bloody Betsiboca River in Madagascar


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Bloody Betsiboca River in Madagascar


Betsiboca is a mountain in Madagascar, the length of which is 525 kilometers. It is considered the longest river on the island and one of the most "useful": rice fields are located at its mouths. The main feature of Betsiboki (stress on "i") is its red color. How did this anomaly begin?

Betsiboki is red

The river acquired its unusual red color due to a strong erosion process that began 50 years ago. Deep under the sandy bottom of the river, there are deposits rich in iron - they are washed out, staining the water red-brown. According to experts, during the Madagascar rainy season, 400 tons of soil is washed out from one hectare of territory, coloring the river until the next season. In fact, the red sediment is the silt that pollutes the waters of Betsiboki, even with its incredibly attractive color and beautiful images from space.

Ecological catastrophy

In fact, the word "washout" hides an ecological disaster. The rainforest of Madagascar is being actively cut down, and soil erosion is the result of logging, violation of the natural scale of the area. One of the goals of deforestation is the development of territories for pastures and arable land. This method of cultivating the land is called tavi: the forest is cut down and burned, then the soil is allowed to rest. The cycle repeats itself, and after 20-30 years something living ceases to grow on the soil. In addition to soil erosion, this ecological disaster threatens to reduce the already small supply of drinking water.

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