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Saturday, October 17, 1998 Published at 01:58 GMT 02:58 UK

World: Americas

Clean-up efforts on world's highest lake

The authorities on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, are beginning efforts later today to remove a ten-kilometre stretch of algae from the water's surface.

Some five hundred volunteers in boats will try to pull the weeds out by hand.

The algae, which has formed a bright green carpet across a bay near the town of Puno, has a foul odour and is threatening aquatic plant and fish life.

The director of the Lake Titicaca National Park told the BBC that the algae, which feeds off pollution, had expanded rapidly because of high temperatures, caused by the weather phenomenon, El Nino.

The rest of the lake, outside the bay and on the Bolivian side is said to be unaffected by the algae.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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