LIFE IN A CRATER

Life In A Crater
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This impact crater is believed to have formed a million years ago during the Pleistocene period but was discovered about 400 years ago by a hunter who was chasing an injured antelope through the rainforest. The antelope disappeared in a small pond in a way that seemed like the body of water wanted to save its life. After a failed attempt at catching the antelope, the hunter chose to settle close to the water where he began fishing. He named this place Bosomtwe, which roughly translates as "the god antelope".

The lake is surrounded by a little over 20 villages and is regarded sacred by natives. Traditional belief has it that the souls of the dead come here to bid farewell to the goddess of the Earth. Due to this, locals are only allowed to fish in the lake on wooden planksThere is a taboo against touching the water with iron thus outboard motors and modern boats are not allowed to ply on the lake (this has been defied in recent times by resorts that offer boat trips on boats that are made of steel and sometimes run on motors)

I went to the banks quite early in the morning as I’d failed to get good photographs of the sunset the evening before.  I encountered a few town folks, mostly kids carrying out activities of all sorts by the lake so I walk towards them to engage them in a conversation and see if there was a chance to get them to pose for a few photos.  After a couple of attempts, the kids opened up eventually and we talked about living within the crater, school, their upkeep and why they choose to do every chore at the lake. One tried to explain how convenient it was coming to the lake and how water barely flows in their village. They wash everything from utensils to laundry right by the lake and most often take a bath in the same place. I watched some carry water from the lake in buckets and aluminum pans back home which they said they cooked with, and drink at times. Most males, both young and elderly fish from the lake each owning their own wooden planks and all they carry is a basket with which they scoop up trapped fish.  This lake serves as the primary source of water for all surrounding villages and their livelihoods seems heavily dependent on it. 

These days a number of people put up resorts within these villages for tourists, and that to some extent has helped in bringing basic amenities like electricity and clean water to some of these villages.


LIFE IN A CRATER
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LIFE IN A CRATER

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Published:

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