Group village head Tchuka of Chisi Island on Lake Chilwa in Zomba says the commitment of chiefs and their subjects in practising good farming and fishing methods can restore the lake and prevent it from drying up again.
The chief said this on Tuesday in Zomba in reaction to thecurrent drying up of the inland drainage lake, adding that the effects haveparalysed the socio-economic status of his subjects.
“The intervals at which the lake has been drying up is shortening, an indication that in the near future, it may dry up completely. This calls for communities to avoid cultivating along the lake and banks of rivers feeding into the lake because siltation of the rivers fills the lake with mud,” he said.
One of the fishers, Alfred Samuel, attributed the siltation of the lake to bad fishing practices.
He said some fishers cut reeds and other grass along the shores of the lake for construction of their shelters which are eventually washed away into the lake.
“Further, when they cut the reeds, there is nothing to hold running water when it rains,” Samuel said.
On their part, Senior Chief Chiwalo of Phalombe and Traditional Authority N’kagula of Zomba asked fellow chiefs a long the lake to formulate action plans on the protection of the lake when the waters resurface.
According to Tchuka, the lake also dried up in 1972, 1995 and 2012. n