Lake Victoria
by Tom Flannery copyright 2004
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I once thought sins were washed away
by the waters of the Lord
healing built from rivers
and a quiet streaming ford
Lake Victoria is in my dreams
that day I did declare
you can baptize me another way
I'll not set foot in there

Some look and see reflection
on the surface gliding by
when the sun it bounces off you
and then heads back towards the sky
but my mother rests below you
carried by Kagera's flow
when Victoria will give her up..
well this I do not know

Victoria how do you sleep
what other secrets do you keep
surface gone from blue to brown
someday I'll will myself to drown

When killers live among you
and they look you in the eye
when a child grasps an empty hand
and then begins to cry
when darkness comes and spreads not fear
but a welcome from the sight
Lake Victoria will disappear
at least for the night

Victoria how do you sleep
what other secrets do you keep
surface gone from blue to brown
someday I'll will myself to drown

I once thought sins were washed away
by the waters of the Lord
healing built from rivers
and a quiet streaming ford
Lake Victoria is in my dreams
that day I did declare
you can baptize me another way
I'll not set foot in there


 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes

.
When the Genocide started, it seemed nothing could convince the world at large that what people were talking about was actually happening.

However, by mid May, when over 500,000 people had already been massacred, journalists were not only writing words documenting bodies floating down the Kigara River into Lake Victoria, but now western photographers and cameramen had arrived en masse and were filming it.

At times, narrow parts of the river got so clogged with bodies that soldiers had to use large sticks to break the logjam.

So many bodies ended up in the lake that on June 17th 1994 the World Health Organization issued a press release entitled "NO PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT FROM RWANDAN CORPSES IN LAKE VICTORIA, SAYS WHO". In the first sentence the release stated...

The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that the presence in Lake Victoria of bodies of victims of the conflict in Rwanda does not pose any additional public health threat through the consumption of fish or of water from the lake. 

It continued...

While the findings of the study indicate significant levels of pollution of the lake and other water sources in the affected areas with bacteria of faecal origin, there was no evidence that the situation was either new or related to the corpses.

Oh to live in a world where such releases are needed.

Read the entire press release here.