The origin name of Limboto Lake always attracts the attention of people in Gorontalo. The lake with an area of 2,500 hectares is located in Gorontalo city. The interesting aspects are not only related to its name which has historical value, but also its width that is increasingly shrinking from time to time.
From history side, President Soekarno had landed in the vicinity of Limboto Lake when visiting Gorontalo. The landing site is now used as a Landing Museum of President Sukarno in Iluta Village, sub-district of Batudaa, Gorontalo district.
At that time, around the 1950s, the condition of the lake was still good so Soekarno used amphibious aircraft for landing. However, this time the surface of Limboto Lake has been shrouded by water hyacinth which is nearly 40 percent from its total water area.
Environment Agency for Research and Technology (Baliristi) of Gorontalo recorded that in 1932, the Limboto lake has width about 8,000 hectares and has depth around 30 metres. However, in 1970, the width shrunk significantly into 4,500 hectares with depth of 15 metres. In 2003, its width was reduced into 3054.8 hectares and has depth about four metres. In 2012, besides the width decreasing significantly, it also becomes a shallow lake which has depth only about 2.5 metres.
The critical condition of Limboto Lake has evocative the spirit of Iwan Yusuf (31) to paint “the water surface of Limboto Lake” using water hyacinth, on last September. A painting that resembles a giant foot has large of 500 x 190 square metres, and given the title of”Lahilote”.
According to Iwan, his work is a form of his concern toward the condition of Limboto Lake that increasingly becomes shallow. Meanwhile, Lahilote is a folklore of Gorontalo which is similar to the story of Jaka Tarub. Lahilote leaves a foot trail on a rock at the Pohe beach in Gorontalo city when he is going to heaven following the fairies.
In the real life, the Limboto Lake plays an important role in the life of people in Gorontalo. It is not only as a clean water provider and a flood controller, but also as a habitat of flora and fauna. Some of bird species that often come up around the lake are Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), The Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa), The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), and terns – white wings (Chlidonias leucopterus).
* Various sources