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Senegal’s Famous Pink Lake Is Losing its Lustre

But heavy flooding last year meant it lost its vibrant pink colour. Officially known as Lake Retba, the lake’s high salinity and rare microbiome long-fostered an algae that turned it a pinkish colour, making it one of the West African country’s most visited attractions and under consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Everything changed last September when torrential rains hit the capital Dakar 30 kilometres (18 miles) away and swept flood waters towards the lake, tearing a wide channel in its bank. The deluge washed away countless carefully tended salt mounds and submerged the stalls of trinket vendors and other tourist businesses perched on the shoreline. This has impacted the around 3,000 people who live off the lake and depend on its tourism.