Surestream Petroleum, a UK-based firm which was granted a licence by the Malawi government to explore oil on Lake Malawi has said its baseline study and other exploration activities on the lake are on track.
The companyâ€™s general manager for Malawi Keith Robinson said this over the weekend when Business News sought progress on the companyâ€™s project which has attracted keen interest from environmentalists and the public at large.
Robinson said so far, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has continued according to the procedures as laid down by the Ministry of Environmental Affairs.
â€œTeams of local environmentalists have been compiling a broad range of scientific and technical information in order to complete the baseline study.
The same environmentalists have also been carrying out social and fishing surveys along the lake shore,â€ said Robinson.
He also said there has been a water sampling survey of the lake itself and that the results of the survey will be incorporated into the study.
Robinson said there has been a second meeting with government agencies to update them on progress of the project adding that meetings have been held in the four districts bordering the area of the lake within the licence areas.
â€œThese meetings were organised through the offices of the district commissioners and key stakeholders attended and contributed to the process. The members of Parliament who have constituencies in the licence areas have also been briefed at a meeting held in Lilongwe,â€ he added.
He boasted that a wide range of stakeholders have been consulted on the progress of the project and the process will continue.
The baseline study is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2012 and will be presented to the Ministry of Environmental Affairs which will then decide on its own process of public consultations.