Water levels in Lake Chilwa have appreciated, a move that has normalised business activities at Swang’oma Beach in Phalombe.
About seven months ago, the waters had almost dried up to at least 60 percent, thereby making life difficult for the communities, who depend on the lake for a living.
A visit to the area on Tuesday, which was organised by the Leadership for Environment and Development – Southern Eastern Africa (Lead-Sea), showed that business has picked up with fishers selling their catch at trading centres around the area.
“The drying of the lake heavily affected us in several ways. I had to travel to other districts such as Nkhata Bay to get fish, which was very expensive.
“We are now happy that the waters have risen to the extent that we are able to go fishing again in Lake Chilwa. We thank God for that,” said Swang’oma Beach Village Committee chairperson Julius Khaureya.
John Malavi of Mwayi wa Mbalame Bird Hunters Association said people used to cut the grass along the lake to catch the birds, a development, which scared them away.
“People could not observe regulations set by our association on the birds. We lost tourists, who used to come to this area to see the birds. This contributed to the bankruptcy of our association because we depended on the money they paid to run our association,” he said.
Phalombe district environmental officer Fred Mphalo said measures have been put in place to ensure that communities observe sustainable methods in the wake of climate change.
Lead-Sea regional programme director Professor Sosten Chiotha said the visit was aimed at appreciating what communities are doing in the three Lake Chilwa Basin districts of Zomba, Machinga and Phalombe.