Royal Commission recommends national emergency powers

Bushfires: New firefighting technology for the Rural Fire ServiceThe Royal Commission report into last summer’s catastrophic bushfires has finally been released with a big recommendation.

By Anton Nilsson and Jade Gailberger - 30. October 2020

The federal government should have the power to declare a state of national emergency, according to a final report handed down by the royal commission into last summer’s catastrophic bushfires.

The proposed change is among 80 recommendations made public on Friday after the report was tabled in parliament.

The Black Summer blazes torched 10 million hectares [N.B.: Other sources speak of up to 24 million hectares], destroyed more than 3,000 homes and killed 33 people.

On the Treatment of Covid-19

By Swiss Policy ResearchJuly 2, 2020 - LanguagesDEEN

Updated: October 28, 2020; 

Immunological and serological studies show that most people develop only mild or moderate symptoms when infected with the new coronavirus, while some people may experience a more pronounced or critical course of the disease (read more).

Based on the available scientific evidence and current clinical experience, the SPR Collaboration recommends that physicians and authorities consider the following covid-19 treatment protocol for the early treatment of people at high risk or high exposure (see references below).

Note: Patients are asked to consult a doctor.

UPDATE 27. Octobr 2020: MUST READ: Anthony Fauci: 40 Years of Lies !!!


UPDATE 25. September 2020: Dr. Reiner Fuellmich (corona damages class action) - As soon as the court in the USA or Canada says that this Class Action "goes", a window opens and then you probably have half a year to file your claims. (interview)

UPDATE 24. September 2020: Trump’s New C19 Advisor Cites Research Showing Widespread Immunity! Calls out CDC Head Redfield’s False Testimony to Stunned Press - And he got everything right!

ICYMI: 2020 - The Year Governments Killed Hundreds of Thousands of Their Own People

Hysteria and Shutdowns Caused 50,000 Non-COVID Deaths in the USA Alone,000 excess deaths so far. The coming toll from missed cancer diagnoses will be many times higher

By Jon Kamp - 1920

Editor’s note: By another calculation the number is not 50,000, but twice that.

Researchers are finding growing evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic’s deadly reach [the insane reaction to it] is stretching far beyond people who died from coronavirus infections.

From Alzheimer’s disease deaths to fatal heart attacks, federal data show deaths in 2020 have exceeded those of previous years in numerous categories. Doctors and health researchers say the fatalities reflect the ways the pandemic [the lockdown] has amplified stress and financial strain while causing many people to avoid hospitals for fear of infections.

UPDATE 26. October 2020: Ogiek protest against plan to settle Mau land dispute

UPDATE 21. October 2020: "Ogieks (sic!) open up to the world" - do they or are they forced?

UPDATE 18. October 2020: SHAME ON THE KENYAN GOVERNANCE: 4,500 Sleep in Caves Following Night Evictions, while Google is allowed to invade Heroes Day celebrations and to describe the true heroes of Kenya, the aboriginal Ogiek, as if the were already extinct.

UPDATE 14. October 2020: Who should care for the forest? In Kenya, the question sparks violence.

UPDATE 22. September 2020: State to resettle and issue title deeds to Mau forest evictees, who are not indIgenous to the Mau Forest.

UPDATE 21. September 2020: Kenya Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang'i, promises peace deal, but fails to address the real issues that are driving the Indigenous First Nation of the Ogiek to extinction. It is a thirty year nightmare for these Aboriginal people of Kenya.

REMEMBER: In 2017 Pope Francis stated clearly: "Indigenous People Should Have Final Say About Their Land"

UPDATE 19. September 2020: Kenya government fails to protect the Ogiek. No end in sight for clashes in Njoro as 40 families displaced

UPDATE 15. September 2020: Land, Politics Form Potent Mix That Leads to War in Mau Forest

UPDATE 07. September 2020: The hidden hand plays 'Divide and Rule': "Ogiek get new heads to push for land rights" is the narrativ, but insiders believe it is just the final straw for the destruction of the Ogiek people. & CS Tobiko now in trouble on eviction

UPDATE 24. August 2020: Kenyan Deputy President Ruto, who hails from the Nandi - a Kalenjin people to which also the Kipsigis belong - called on Ogiek leaders to master the art of championing for inclusion and cohesion, but he seems to forget that it is his people invading Ogiek ancestral lands and attacking. Since decades powerful political leaders from the Maasai (like the late William ole Ntimama) coming from the South and the Kipsigis from the North have tried to annex the Ogie's Mau Forest complex into their territory. In recent times this fight has been enhanced, because the water-wars are on - with massive bids from international corporations for the water-rights of the Mau as water-tower, which supplies the capital Nairobi, on the table. "Just leave us Ogiek in peace on our lands!" one of the participants stated during a burial ceremony, while confirming that three Ogiek, including a 15-year old child, had been killed by police, and three other Ogiek were killed by invaders in recent days. The high number of the many injured Ogiek could not be established exactly. 23. August 2020: The armed attacks targeting the Aboriginal Ogiek people in the Mau forest continue. So far the lives of six members of the Indigenous Ogiek community, including a 15-year-old child killed by police-bullets, have been lost during the ongoing unrest, triggered by evictions and demarkation excercises launched by the government. The attackers are said to hail from the Kipsigis people, a part of the Kalenjin group of Southern-Nilotes, who settled outside the Mau forest complex only some 200 years ago, but became strong under the late former President Moi. They are often instrumentalized for political gains and then grab land under protection of powerful people. But also a government-led "conservation" excercise under UN Agenda 21/30 causes conflict by carving out areas of ancestral Ogiek lands in violation of an African Union court ruling and without the prescribed consent from the Ogiek.

UPDATE 12. August 2020: Oakland Institute: Kenya’s Ogiek Community fighting Evictions from their Lands

UPDATE 24. October 2020: There Is no Covid and There Is no Pandemic: There Is Only Deception and Tyranny

UPDATE 12. April 2020: Swiss Research Site: Pandemic is a Total Fraud

UPDATE 23. March 2020: Like Freedom? Then You Won’t Like the FREEDOM Act (Orwellian New-Speak at works!] 

UPDATE 18. March 2020: Coronavirus scare - the hoax of the century?

PROLOGUE: The coronavirus, which is at present creating worldwide havoc, was initially called 2019-nCoV for '2019 novel coronavirus' and is identified now as SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), while the disease is called COVID-19 for 'Corona Virus Infectious Disease 2019'. Get your case number updates from HERE or HERE; and please realize that - like influenza - it already has spread circumpolar with most cases not properly tested or even recorded. 

The Coronavirus Hoax

Outspoken Ron Paul calls the Coronavirus affair a political hoax.

By Ron Paul - 16. March 2020

Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them. After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

It is ironic to see the same Democrats who tried to impeach President Trump last month for abuse of power demanding that the Administration grab more power and authority in the name of fighting a virus that thus far has killed less than 100 Americans.

PROLOGUE: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who is deeply embedded and involved in the on-going corona scamdemic worldwide, fails everywhere to fulfil the basic mandate: To protect the most vulnerable refugees. While they spend many millions - monies received from the taxpayers of the international community - to get tracing apps and biometric ID scams including DNA-registers being set up for them by the most detested companies in the spy-business - like Palantir - in truly Orwellian manner, they don't provide security, appropriate housing and food even to the most destitute and persecuted women and children. UNHCR must also directly be held responsible for forcing women, young girls and boys onto the streets and into prostitution, by not providing secure shelter, appropriate health services and by not fast-tracking the processing of cases for settlement in secure countries, while refugees are still persecuted in Kenya. The killing or high-jacking especially of politically persecuted refugees from Rwanda, DRCongo and Ethiopia is on-going. But the UNHCR bureaucrats now got used to "home office" and their "work" is just an e-mail game, while they blame the Kenyan government not to do enough. But it is the duty of the UNHCR in the first place. No wonder that abandoned refugees turn to desperate measures in order to see and face those responsible in flesh and blood, who hide since many months behind "corona" excuses. To implement the migration-related commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, Member States have committed to contribute to global governance [stupidly] and enhanced cooperation on international migration. Thereby the GLOBAL COMPACT manifested the role of broken UNHCR, which it cannot and does not fulfil - and the refugees suffer even more. Instead of developing rapid, capable and dedicated distress-response mechanisms, the UNHCR only concentrates on phony websites but does not meet the crisis needs, which drives refugees to then commit suicide.

ICYMI: Kagame’s DMI is now targeting his opponents in EAC

Refugees at UNHCR transition centre on strike to protest against extended stay - one even attempted suicide

By  Linda Shiundu - 23. October 2020

Refugees from Burundi, Somali, Congo and Rwanda being held at the Nairobi UNHCR transit centre are protesting their extended stay

- The refugees said some of them had been at the centre for more than 2 years and they were yet to know their fate.

- According to them, they were taken to their for protection after their lives were exposed to varying dangers including kidnappings

- Among them are underage children who are now forced to go hungry as the rest of them are on hunger strike

- They are asking to be resettled as per the agreement they had with UNHCR when they were taken in at the centre

UPDATE 22. October 2020: Medical-martial nonsense in Kenya: New research shows HIV infections can be stopped by conducting contact tracing - High time that Kenyans stand up and say: NO!


ICYMI: Bill Gates is not as smart as people might think

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Gates Negotiated $100 Billion Contact Tracing Deal With Democratic Congressman Sponsor of Bill Six Months BEFORE Coronavirus Pandemic

UPDATE 21. October 2020: Person Dies In COVID Vaccine Trial & More Experts Speak Out On The Efficacy Of Masks/Lockdowns

UPDATE 17. October 2020: Lummi Nation pulls out of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine experiment - Coronavirus vaccine trials halted as more volunteers become ill and Lummi Nation withdraws from AstraZeneca experiments. 

UPDATE 15. October 2020: Pfizer to begin testing vaccine on children

UPDATE 14. October 2020: Third vaccine maker halts trials. Also Eli Lilly stops the test vaccinations due to serious complications. German taxpayers ask back their money, which was fraudulently invested into the COVID-19 vaccine development hype.  

UPDATE 13. October 2020: Second vaccine corp stops SARS vaccine trial. After Astra Zeneca also Johnson & Johnson has to admit the vaccines make trial participants sick.

UPDATE 12. October 2020: Johnson & Johnson Latest To Halt COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Over Unspecified Illness

Death and Damages caused by forced vaccinations in the global South must be the responsibility of Angela Merkel, if she sponsors such trials and campaigns with German money. 

By Venatrix Fulmen (*) - 30. September 2020

Angela Merkel is still the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Based on a medical-martial law on the CVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 issues that was imposed by her - similar to the 'Ermaechtigungsgesetze' [Acts of Enablement] that gave extraordinary powers to Chancellor and Nazi-leader Adolf Hitler and his dictatorship in 1933, she now just does what she wants - all without the consent of the German people. Millions of Germans took to the streets in protest, but so far to no avail.

Apart from causing economic havoc in the country and serious hardship for the citizens of Germany, the policies imposed by Angela Merkel's governance are violating basic human rights as well as the Basic Law of the country that serves as constitution. A German as well as an international class action to seek compensation for damages - targeting at first the pushers of unvalidated and unsuitabe PCR tests imposed by the German government as base for draconian measures like lockdowns - are in process. 

Forced Sterilizations Echo History of U.S. Genocide

The violations against the people at U.S. state of Georgia’s detention center reveal the inherently abusive structure of prisons, and fuel the ongoing fight for abolition.

By Maya Hernandez - 20. October 2020

Recently, Project South published a report to call attention to the concerning violations taking place inside Georgia’s Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC). The report details the multiple forced sterilizations conducted by Dr. Mahendra Amin, called the Center’s ‘uterus collector’ by Dawn Wooten, a nurse at ICDC and the primary whistleblower of the violations. In addition, the report reveals the overwhelming medical neglect that permeates the facility; pointing to the significant lack of medical care and the lack of adequate protection against COVID-19. The accusations echo a long history of forced sterilizations in the United States, while also calling our attention to the inherent brutal conditions of a carceral system that cages people and consequently swipes their right to equal and accessible care.

UPDATE 20. October 2020: Legal Action to Cancel EU Regulation 2020/1043 on Covid GMO Vaccines

Dr. Andrew Kaufman: They Want To Genetically Modify Us With The COVID-19 Vaccine (Updated)

By Spiro Skouras - 11. May 2020

In this powerful interview Spiro is joined with Doctor Andrew Kaufman. Spiro and Dr. Kaufman discuss the expanding curtailment of basic civil liberties being normalized under the false pretext of a global health emergency.

Doctor Kaufman lays his reputation and his career on the line as he blows the whistle on what he describes as a manufactured crisis to carry out a preplanned agenda to facilitate global governance and population control.

Doctor Kaufman is a well-educated medical professional who convincingly illustrates, using the CDC’s own technical data, how the public has been manipulated on the grandest scale.

UPDATE 20. October 2020: U.S. Justice Department Sues 'Monopolist Google' For Violating Antitrust Laws

UPDATE 19. October 2020: Doctors For Truth: Tens Of Thousands Medical Professionals Suing And Calling For End To COVID Tyranny

UPDATE - 17. October 2020: A legal challenge to Covid-19 measures has been filed against the Ontario and Federal Government in Canada

UPDATE 15. October 2020: Crimes against Humanity & CORONA CLASS ACTION


Class Action Lawsuits Related to Coronavirus Spike Across the USA


The crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has set off a maelstrom of legal disputes stemming from forced business closures and allegations of fraud, among many other complaints. Class-action lawsuits, in particular, have been used to address some of the most egregious reports of misconduct.

These kinds of legal actions are perfect vehicles for frauds perpetrated on consumers and shareholders, where the wrongdoing alleged is so widespread that plaintiffs benefit from banding together.

"There is a tsunami of class-action cases in three principal areas," Kent Schmidt, a California attorney who specializes in business and class-action litigation, explained to Newsweek. "These early filings can be indicative of the liabilities that companies should take into consideration and inform their practices now to avoid getting hit with one of these costly lawsuits."

UPDATE 19. OCTOBER 2020: Slowly by slowly the neo-colonial, electronic Kipande noose is closing: Issuance of biometric cards for Kenyans imminent as regulatory framework in place

In Brief:  (vf) The High-Court in Kenya ruled that the introduction and the by force executed implementation of the controversial but mandatory central registration-number exercise, that included the collection of massive biometric and life data of all people being in Kenya, dubbed Huduma Namba, was in parts constitutional. The 3-judge bench, however, barred any DNA or GPS data collection, which had been obtained in cases, as completely unconstitutional. The completion and use of the system was further put on hold until serious data privacy and data protection legislation and systems are in place, which would guarantee the integrity and safety of the Huduma Namba as essential part of daily life. While parts of government had protested against foreign and local media discussing the issue, other sections of government complained about the heavy involvement of foreign IT companies pushing for the extremely expensive system and exercise, and welcomed international experiences that warned of the very real possibilities of a potentially very dangerous abuse of the system. East and the Horn of Africa plus Ethiopia have become since some time now the playing ground for foreign entities and complying phone- and internet-services providers that want to sell their surveillance technology and systems - often systems that would not even be permitted in the countries where the companies reside. Corrupt deals ranging from useless electronic "gun-detection"-gadgets for traffic police to easily detectable spyware or hacking tools and mobile phone surveillance systems sold seriously overpriced to government and operators have been reported.

In addition the three plaintiffs that brought the case to the High-Court have indicated that they might appeal against today's decision on grounds that the approved part of the system is still gravely discriminatory and invasive. In practical terms, however, the ruling means that the status quo persists, whereby the activation of the Huduma Namba system is on hold. Since in the intitial layout a Huduma Namba also would be required, if tourists or visiting business people would want to get e.g. a Kenyan phone line, have mobile money options or open a bank account, grave economic damages had been foreseen. People simply do not want to make holidays or initiate business in a Big Brother state.

Court allows Huduma Namba implementation, bars DNA, GPS data collection

Huduma Namba registration kit. FILE PHOTO

By Dzuya Walter - 30. January 2020

The High Court has given the government a go-ahead to implement the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), popularly known as the Huduma Namba.

A three-judge bench comprising justices Pauline Nyamweya, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir ruled that introduction of the Huduma Namba was lawful, but its implementation must be done under a comprehensive regulatory framework [Ed.: That does not yet exist.]

The NIIMS is a government controlled digital platform seeking to digitise and centralise records of all citizens and foreigners in Kenya.

UPDATE 18. October 2020: Global poor hit as COVID-19 causes drop in remittances

UPDATE 17. September 2020: Coronavirus pushes 150 million more children into poverty, study reveals

PROLOGUE: “Later will be too late” is the slogan often handed out during fund-raisers by the global bandwaggon on the food-aid train. But especially in pre-election times we must realize that famine and food-shortages are often artificially created in heinous Hegelian ways. Governmental subsidies to farmers bring votes and the subsequent surplus cereal production is then shipped to hungry nations, where IMF conditions and corrupt governance has created these famines in the first place. The people the world over need a true agrarian revolution - not the one masterminded by AGRA, Bill Gates, Bayer/Monsanto and the industry captains of BigOil, BigChem and BigPharma. The United Nations and their World Food Programme (WFP) are the wrong advisers. If the supply chains are not intentionally distrupted like right now under tyrranical Corona-measures, the existing agricultural production can feed 12.6 Billion people - 5 Billion more than living right now. This means we have also enough leverage to change the present industrial agriculture to real organic and perma-culture without triggering starvation. But the change needs to be done now in order to stop the 6th extinction event, which is presently alreay unfolding, and to protect nature - of which humans are part - in a harmonious way. Become as consumer immediately part of your local food-production system, stop buying from super-and hyper-markets or online!

55 Million People Face Famine as COVID-Ravaged Economies Fail To Meet Funding Goals
Iraqi children sit on bags of rice from the World Food Program (WFP) at a school that serves as a shelter for internally displaced people in Baghdad’s eastern district of Jamila, Iraq. Karim Kadim | AP

Nations the world over have scrambled to take emergency action in the wake of COVID-19, as businesses have been disrupted, supply lines cut and economies stunted, leaving foreign aid programs underfunded and millions without food.

By Alan Macleod - 14. 

More than 55 million people in seven countries are in desperate need of COVID-19-related famine relief. That is according to a new report from international charity Oxfam, entitled “Later will be too late.” The report details how 55.5 million people in seven countries — Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia — are living in severe-to-extreme levels of food insecurity or even famine conditions, thanks largely to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE 18. October 2020: Call for Urgent Actions: Everyone should do what it takes to put an end to the recruitment of “Congolese Tutsi” refugees in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania for the civil war in DRCongo

UPDATE 06. August 2020: Mining billionaire denies any link to online abuse aimed at an investigative consortium’s report on money-laundering and grand corruption

UPDATE 25. July 2020: Many more people of the Bantu speaking ethnicities of the Bembe, Lega, Nyindu, Vira and Fuliru people have been killed in a new aggression by allegedly Rwanda-backed groups under Col. Makanika. The pictures and videos of the killed, brutally mutilated, shot and decapitated people we received are far too horrific to publish, but were forwarded to the ICC. The situation has all characteritics of a genocide, but neither the national army (FARDC) nor the United Nations peacekeepers (MONUSCO) intervened. Actually MONUSCO peacekeepers stayed at the now attacked villages a few days before, but then suddenly withdrew and allowed the massacre to happen without any attempt to stop it, though their base is in Mikenge (Mi'enge) not far from the epicentre of this massacre in and around Kipupu (Epùpù).

PROLOGUE: Next time you look at your mobile phone or your golden wedding ring - think about its hidden cost from these blood-stained resource wars. Black Lives Matter also in DR Congo. At least 350 civilians and a chief were killed, while the world is mesmerized by watching Corona-News.

Deadly attack reported from Kipupu in South Kivu

By ENP Local Staff - 18. July 2020

EXCLUSIVE - South Kivu - Heavy fighting was reported on Thursday (July 16th) in and around the town of Kipupu, in the Itombwe sector, in the highlands of Mwenga territory in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to local sources, at around 4 o'clock in the morning fighters from the Gumino group and its allies, including Burundian FNL Nzabampema rebels attacked from four axes, before taking Kipupu, the capital of the Itombwe sector, into a stranglehold.

Provisional assessment reports speak of 343/363 or 400 civilians being killed, including a widely respected custormary Chief.

UPDATE 16. October 2020: Rapid City police invade Lakota ceremony, tear down encampment for houseless and arrest six people

Seven Questions: Johns Hopkins questioned about 40 years of vaccine experiments on Navajo. Response awaited.

By Brenda Norrell - 15. October 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona -- Johns Hopkins University researchers have been carrying out medical research on Navajos on the Navajo Nation for 40 years. During those years, very little has been made public about the vaccine and medical research which was carried out in Indian Health Service Hospitals on the Navajo Nation.

Now, Johns Hopkins medical researchers are leading the controversial coronavirus vaccine experiments on Navajos and the Navajo government is pushing the vaccine experiments.

Johns Hopkins, already heading up the epidemiology studies of the coronavirus on the Navajo Nation, is now carrying out the vaccine experiments with its partners, two drug companies, Pfizer [who had to halt vaccine trials due to vaccine damages] and the German company BioNTech.

The African lake with explosive power

Lake Kivu has the power to be disastrous for the region, or to be a clean supply of power (Credit: D Bouffard & A Wuest/AR Fluid Mechanics 2019/Knowable Magazine)

By John Wenz  - 16. October 2020

In central Africa is a deep lake that has a dangerous propensity to explode – but tapping it as a source of energy could help avert disaster.

Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s strangest bodies of water. An unusual set of properties make it an intriguing subject for scientists, as well as a potential source of both peril and prosperity for the millions of people living nearby.

Kivu doesn’t behave like most deep lakes. Typically, when water at the surface of a lake is cooled – by winter air temperatures or rivers carrying spring snowmelt, for example – that cold, dense water sinks, and warmer, less dense water rises up from deeper in the lake. This process, known as convection, generally keeps the surfaces of deep lakes warmer than their depths.

But at Lake Kivu, circumstances have conspired to block this mixing, giving the lake unexpected qualities – and surprising consequences.

The unusual separation of layers of the lake is at the core of its volatility (Credit: D Bouffard & A Wuest/AR Fluid Mechanics 2019/Knowable Magazine)

The unusual separation of layers of the lake is at the core of its volatility (Credit: D Bouffard & A Wuest/AR Fluid Mechanics 2019/Knowable Magazine)

Straddling the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kivu is one of a string of lakes lining the East African Rift Valley where the African continent is being slowly pulled apart by tectonic forces. The resulting stresses thin the Earth’s crust and trigger volcanic activity, creating hot springs below Kivu that feed hot water, carbon dioxide and methane into the lake’s bottom layers. Microorganisms use some of the CO2, as well as organic matter sinking from above, to create energy, producing additional methane as a by-product. These gases would ordinarily bubble out of the water, but Kivu’s great depth – more than 460 metres (1,500ft) at its deepest point – creates so much pressure that they remain dissolved.

Kivu has the potential for a major, catastrophic limnic eruption where many cubic miles of gas would be released – Sergei Katsev

This mixture of water and dissolved gases is denser than water alone, which discourages it from rising. The deeper water is also saltier due to sediment raining down from the upper layers of the lake and from minerals in the hot springs, which further increases the density. The result, says limnologist Sergei Katsev of the University of Minnesota Duluth, is a lake with several distinct layers of water of sharply different densities, with only thin transition layers between.

The layers can be separated roughly into two regions: one of less-dense surface water above a depth of about 60m (200ft) and, below that, a region of dense saline water that is itself further stratified, says Alfred Wüest, an aquatic physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. There is mixing within each layer, but they don’t interact with each other. “Just think of the entire water mass sitting there for thousands of years and doing nothing,” says Wüest, who has studied convection in various lakes of the world, including weird outliers like Lake Kivu.

The high levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the deep waters of Lake Kivu could cause a devastating limnic eruption if disturbed (Credit: Richard Gray)

The high levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the deep waters of Lake Kivu could cause a devastating limnic eruption if disturbed (Credit: Richard Gray)

But Lake Kivu is more than just a scientific curiosity. Its unusual stratification and the CO2 and methane trapped in its deeper layers have researchers worried that it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Lurking danger

About 1,400 miles (2,250km) north-west of Kivu, a crater lake in Cameroon known as Lake Nyos similarly accumulates and traps large amounts of dissolved gas – in this case CO2 – from a volcanic vent at the bottom of the lake. On 21 August 1986, the lethal potential of that gas reservoir was made tragically evident. Possibly due to a landslide, a large amount of water was suddenly displaced, causing the dissolved CO2 to mix rapidly with upper layers of the lake and release into the air. A large, deadly cloud of the gas asphyxiated an estimated 1,800 people in nearby villages.

If enough methane were released into the air at Kivu, there is the additional risk that it could ignite

Events like this are called limnic eruptions, and scientists fear that Kivu may be ripe for a similar, even deadlier event. Nyos is a relatively small lake, measuring a little more than a mile long (1.6km), just under a mile wide and less than 210m (700ft) deep. Kivu is 55 miles (89km) long, 30 miles (48km) across at its widest point and more than twice as deep as Nyos. Because of its size, Katsev says, Kivu “has the potential for a major, catastrophic limnic eruption where many cubic miles of gas would be released”.

About 14,000 people lived near Nyos at the time of the eruption. More than two million live in the vicinity of Lake Kivu today, including roughly one million residents of the city of Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If Kivu were to erupt, says limnologist Sally MacIntyre of the University of California, Santa Barbara, “it would be completely catastrophic”.

For people who have to travel on the lake for their livelihoods, the danger of gas bubbling up from below is a serious hazard (Credit: Richard Gray)

For people who have to travel on the lake for their livelihoods, the danger of gas bubbling up from below is a serious hazard (Credit: Richard Gray)

This isn’t just a theoretical concern. Scientists have found what may be evidence of at least one previous limnic eruption at Kivu that likely occurred between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago, and possibly several more recent ones. Sediment cores taken from the bottom of the lake have revealed features known as brown layers that are unlike the surrounding sediments. These sediment bands are “very unusual, organic-rich layers”, Katsev says, that may be the result of eruptions.

Limnic eruptions can occur for two reasons. If the water becomes completely saturated with dissolved gases, any additional CO2 or methane injected into the lake will be forced to bubble out of solution, rise and be released into the air. Eruptions can also be caused when something forces the deep water with its dissolved gases to mix with the layers above, reducing the pressure on the gases and allowing them to quickly come out of solution and escape, similar to the effect of shaking a can of soda and then opening it.

While a landslide of the scale suspected in the Nyos eruption might not cause enough mixing at Kivu, due to the lake’s size and depth, there are several other possible triggers. Kivu is in a seismically active area, so an earthquake could generate waves in the lake that would mix the layers enough to release the trapped gases. Climate is also a potential culprit.

At least one past eruption discovered in the sediment record appears to have been caused by drought that evaporated enough water from the top of the lake to reduce the pressure at the lower levels and release the dissolved gases. Lowered water levels during dry periods could also leave Kivu more vulnerable to disruption from particularly heavy rain. They could flush enough built-up sediment from the many streams feeding into the lake to cause the layers to mix, MacIntyre says.

The chances of such a sequence of events may go up as the planet warms, MacIntyre says. Climate change is expected to bring more rain to East Africa, and “it’s going to come in the form of more extreme rain events with bigger intervals of drought in between”.

Experimental stations, seen in the distance, have been set up in an attempt to safely tap the gases in the depths of Lake Kivu (Credit: Richard Gray)

Experimental stations, seen in the distance, have been set up in an attempt to safely tap the gases in the depths of Lake Kivu (Credit: Richard Gray)

Another possible trigger is volcanic activity under the lake or from surrounding volcanoes, but scientists think the risk of that is low. A 2002 eruption of nearby Mount Nyiragongo didn’t bring in enough material to disrupt Kivu’s bottom layers. And modelling studies have shown that volcanism below the lake wouldn’t cause a big enough disruption either, MacIntyre says.

Whatever the cause of an eruption, the effect would be the same. Accumulated gases would be released from their dissolved state, creating dense clouds of CO2 and methane that, as happened with the CO2 at Nyos, could displace oxygen and lead to asphyxiation. And if enough methane were released into the air at Kivu, there is the additional risk that it could ignite.

Katsev says that the lake is monitored regularly for signs of upticks in gas concentration, so a sudden upwelling “will not catch us by surprise”. More than a dozen seismic stations measure the activity near the lake in real time as well. And in 2001, an effort began to reduce the risk of another disaster at Nyos by siphoning water from the bottom of the lake through a pipe to the surface, where the CO2 is released into the air at a safe rate. Similar efforts are underway at Kivu.

Mining the depths

As gas concentrations rise in Kivu’s depths, so does the risk. Wüest and colleagues found that from 1974 to 2004 the concentration of CO2 increased by 10%. But the bigger concern at Kivu is the methane concentration, which rose 15-20% during the same period.

There may be a way to turn Kivu’s risk into reward, though. The same gas that could fuel a deadly natural disaster has potential as an energy source for the region. In 2008, Rwanda launched a pilot programme taking methane from the lake to burn as a natural gas and last year signed a contract to export bottled methane. A much larger methane extraction programme, called KivuWatt, came online in 2015.

The lake's methane has been exploited as a fossil-fuel-free source of energy for the local communities (Credit: Richard Gray)

The lake's methane has been exploited as a fossil-fuel-free source of energy for the local communities (Credit: Richard Gray)

The projects pump water from the deep layers of the lake, and as the pressure is reduced on that water, the gases are released. The methane is extracted to be used as fuel, and the CO2 is pumped back down to the bottom of the lake. “They take this gas, ship it via pipeline onshore and burn it the way you would burn fossil fuels to generate electricity,” Katsev says.

For the people living in the lake’s vicinity, this could become an important source of energy. Once KivuWatt is fully online, the 100 megawatts of power produced by the project could make a significant difference for Rwanda, a developing country where only 35% of the population has access to electricity.

Harvesting the Lake Kivu’s gases might help to reduce the risk from eruption, though it won’t eliminate it. Still, for a lake with that much danger lurking below, any reduction in risk is a valuable step.


From Knowable Magazine

This article originally appeared in Knowable Magazine

Title-Image credit: D Bouffard & A Wuest/AR Fluid Mechanics 2019/Knowable Magazine