CAMEROON

Thursday 15 February 2001

Devices to reduce the emissions of toxic gases from two Cameroon lakes will be put in place by a team of 10 scientists and engineers from the us , France and Japan. The emission of these gases has killed almost 1,800 people till now. "The devices called Nyos Organ would reduce carbon dioxide levels in Lakes Nyos and Monoun to tolerable limits within a span of three to five years," said a spokesperson of the country's ministry of scientific and technical research.

The idea to use Nycos was evolved after French scientists conducted an experiment in 1995. The scientists inserted a polyethylene pipe vertically into the lake and created a vacuum in the pipe which led to water and carbon dioxide being sucked from the bottom of the lake. The experiment showed that Nyos Organ, consisting of 12 pipes, could be used to remove the dangerous gases. Scientists have warned that there is a renewed build-up of carbon dioxide in the depths of the two lakes, located on a seismic fault running through the country. In 1986, Lake Nyos had suddenly released its toxic gas, instantly killing 1,746 people. A similar phenomenon occurred at Lake Monoun in 1998, killing 34 people.

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