Environmental body says no to oil drilling on Lake Malawi

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Lake Malawi

To have oil drilled?

The question of whether to drill oil on Lake Malawi has been an ongoing topic of discussion in the country since exploration works were suspended though the idea continues to receive a cold shoulder from local people.

Malawians have continued to reject the proposal to drill the lake after weighing the potential harm oil exploration might have upon the wildlife, in particular aquatic animals.

Findings by a local organization, Wildlife Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM), seems to be confirming these fears as they have revealed that there will be a huge impact once the lake is drilled.

The report indicates that the Malawi does not have the capacity to enforce regulations preventing disposal of wastewater.

Lake Malawi has a flushing ability of 750 years and any spillage will take a period of 750 years to flush itself through natural processes. “Oil exploration in Lake Malawi is not sustainable.

Must be stopped. It will damage the only fresh water Lake for Malawi,” reads part of the report by WESM made available to Malawi24.

Godfrey Mfiti

Mfiti: The process must be sustainable.

The WESM report was signed by Environmental Activists without Borders and Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD) in Malawi whose executive director Godfrey Mfiti disagrees with the exploration projects.

In its recommendations, the WESM report advises government to take appropriate action for the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals particularly the provisions in Goal number 6 which aims at achieving sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

WESM has since urged government to promote valuation of Lake Malawi so that decisions which are made on its utilisation are evidence-based and economically fool proof.

In the report, the environmental body also advises government to conduct transparent Environmental Impact Assessments for development projects and Strategic Environmental Assessments to guide the development strategies especially in a freshwater lake like Lake Malawi.

WESM further calls on government to promote public private partnerships in conserving the outstanding universal values of Lake Malawi and Lake Malawi National Park. A public talk entitled “Is Oil drilling in Lake Malawi a Sustainable Development?” where the report was presented, attracted members of WESM and other guests including representatives from the international community.

The public talk saw a rich discussion on Environmental Policy review, on state of readiness by the country in oil exploration, and on government’s ability to enforce local regulations.

Meanwhile, residents residing along the lake have vowed to fight government once it proceeds with the drilling saying such deals only benefits politicians and other top officials. In 2013, government offered licenses to four international companies which include Rak Gas, the Surestream-Hamra Oil Holdings Venture, Pacific Oil and Sac Oil.

But the deals were called off in November 2014 after criticism from the civil society and United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Government also announced the suspension of an exploration exercise and that it was yet to make a decision on cancellation and renegotiation of production sharing agreements with companies licensed to explore oil and gas.

This was after legal opinion from Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale faulted the manner in which some deals were awarded.

Lake Malawi comprises an area of 29, 600 square kilometres and it is the southernmost lake in the East African Rift Valley system located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The lake is home to more species of fish than any other lake, including about 1000 species of Cichlids.

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95 Comments

  1. Malawian will not benefit a destroyed Lake Malawi will cause only misery and DEATH.
    If spills are occurring with the most advanced drill rigs in the “1st world” then what do you think will happen here?
    VALUATE LAKE MALAWI
    GREAT STUFF WESM

  2. Can the drilling start please, we want to see change. All the young able bodied wannachis who risk their lives trekking down south will be going to these oil rich districts of Malawi for employment. Think Malawians, why do you want outsiders to think for you.

    • I think most in Malawi need to be sensitised first about the oil exploration process. There are several steps (geological -ground and aero), seismic surveys that would have to be undertaken before the actually drilling (which I agree might have severe risks and no size of company will claim they are capable of preventing 100%). Rather than suffocate the project now, I would suggest let the explorers do the preliminary studies which I can with fairy certainty predict would have no significant negative impact to the lake) (this alone will bring into Malawi up of US$20M). If the results are bad no drilling of course even before you say no. If they are good, this is the time to say no. You already have gain in your country..but most importantly not only will the lake have proved a petroleum system but also possibly the surrounding non heritage or very sensitive regions. This would stimulate exploration interest away from the lake and bring more cash into Malawi not just into government but to support services for exploration projects. Money directly to Malawian service sector businesses.

  3. funk e world and e ignorannt too pipo are stagling simply bcz ov ur Demet proof….funk e world and e gorvement too…

  4. Just today The Daily Times has written About Kayelekela. It has been sold to the Chinese and the Malawi Government is in the dark side of things

  5. Chupiti zanu nose tima ministers ndi ka President kanuko ka Peter Mthalika….leave lake Malawi alone pliz mbava inu stupid. ..

  6. OPEC Countries my ass do u even know the amount of oil the lake has ? Ask urself which giant corporation got that licence ,Shell ,Sasol or whichever but it belongs to Europeans ,they will come and suck it dry leave ur grandma and cousins still dirt poor ku malindi kapena ku salima nsomba zonse zitafa ,,njala mbuu ,madzi onse kuti mumve kudwala mankwala ake mukawagula afiti omvewo otamba mmasanawa ,,these people are devils they dont give a shit about poor Africans to them u no different from the monkey in the jungle ,,

  7. Clean water is much more precious than oil……. Malawi survives from the lake and would be much poorer without this natural resource. No such thing as a clean oil industry.

  8. Apa ndiye mwatsowa chochita mayo ine nyanja yathu yokongola ija mwasowa zakuba tsopono nsomba timadarira yomweyo lero mukufuna mugulitse zipatala.koma mukuziwa kuti dziko lathu ndilosauka athu sangakwanitse kupita zipatala zogula mwayenda mamizimu matown athu akuvutika kwambiri,azathu achuma inu ngati mukudya bwino ma million matumba mwanumo athu ife tikukanda.kodi nanu a otsutsa mwangokhala chete pa khani yogulitsa zipatala.uwu otsutsa sikuti ndimwayi ngati boma likuti ligulitse zipatala maganiza muzapezera powinira azanunso akatero kumangoyang’ana zithu zikuonongeka sizi lero zikulepheleka zithu kubwerera chimake,otsutsa tithandizeni ife pakhani imeneyi,

  9. God blessed us with Chambo fish in this Lake so U want spoil it,ndikukuuzani that wil b the End of CHAMBO fish in the World.Pliz don’t!

  10. nde ukamati ayi galimoto ta uncle ako aja aziyendela sobo?…if those who turn to help as did it.so let us do the same..we drill oil we get rich and stop begging..

  11. First, we have a government of thieves and they will steal everything. Second, we are talking about malawi here. I would bet there will be a leak, one leak and lake Malawi is done, no lake Malawi= fishers suffer, tourism will suffer. This is something we shouldn’t try

  12. Makapani amene amapanga run zamigodi samakhala okhulupirika amatha kuliwuza boma zonama iwo atapeza zina komanso boma limatenga wina 30 % the rest imakhala yawo muzawona Kuti onse amene amakhala ndi makapani amigodi. Mu Africa muno amakhala the richest man in that country. Sikuti akamapona mafuta m nyanja ndiye Kuti nyanja yonse ikhala mafuta okhaokha ayi Pali tech yomwe amagwiritsa. Vuto ndi zipangizo zogwirits ntchito panthawi yopanga extract and survey

  13. That’s the problem of Malawians. Drilling is not the problem but they should only do it after making sure that the companies will adhere to safety precautions and the government should make sure that it comes up with a proper deal with the company to be given theJob. The oil is ours so if they don’t give us a better deal then we will keep the oil. We shouldn’t dismiss the whole idea of drilling please think for a moment! Are all these countries doing offshore drilling crazy? What has the lake benefited us all these years? There is a chance that this could be done without much disturbance to the ecosystem. Poor people! poor minds! Eish that’s too much to stomach. I like what someone said “Malawi will die poor” kkkkkkk! While previously war torn countries like Rwanda and Angola are developing. Our president still thinking that we could develop with Tobacco industry. really? You got be serious gentlemen. There will be no success without trying! Wake up

  14. They must not to drill bcause anthu awa amene akufuna panga drill ndi akuba. Do you remember at KALEKELERA MINING, The take ullenium to be tested but antil now no result bring here. Afuna azititenga ngati zitsiru, NO foreigner to drill here let it as it is, sikuti mmene mdziko muli umphawi mupezelepo mwayi. Apange kuti dziko lino likhale ndi chakudya, mankhwala, misewu, sukulu, ndi zina zambiri. Kuti apange zimenezo umphawi uchuluka kupotsera apa. A Malawi tiyenera kuganiza bwino apa, asatitenge ngati zitsiru ayi. *Xrismas# yabwino.

  15. WHAT WILL BE THE BENFITTES OF THE LOCAL PIPO. OTHER COUNTRIES R PROGRESSING WITH IT. Mwazolowela kupempha. Onse amakuthandizani atanganidwa ndi nkhondo. Kulila ndiye munadzolo wela. Kaya ndiye ndi dziko liti mudzika pempha.

  16. Isay nooo to drill oil in lake Malawi u selfish politicians. Inu mmadya nyama daily ife amphawife tikadya bwino ndi nsomba nde mungoyelekeza God will punish u

  17. Wat happened 2 Logic Reasoning_ DeadLake of wat use will it Be_ From Old Tyz all a White folk Seek is To Destroye_ Will Malawi Be WarmHeatOfAfrica with A DeadLake_ Gong_ Dem_

  18. we thought uranium was the answer to our poverty but hey! we are still begging & Now we eye oil as the moses to deliver us from this Egypt of begging.No we are wrong! even if malawi had Gold & diamond mines would still be poor because most our leaders are like a selfish drunkard womanizing head of a family who doesnt care even less with resources that can nourish his family but wastes it away and in that course His family getting poorer.#money alone wont change anything but changed minds will

  19. All of u saying they should drill are ignorant retards ,im not from Mangochi but i grew up there my childhood was the best anyone can ever have that Lake is our only gift from God ,it was like living in some exotic caribean island ,Cape Mc is one of the most beautiful places on earth ,i plan to buy a place by the Lake ,the beautiful chichlids and the rest of the fishes ,do u know how the envoroment will be damaged by this oil drilling shit ? Even if the cash comes in ,it will benefit only the already rich but our Lake will be died ,,the only solution we must be talking about is pushing our country as a World Class tourist destination ,,stop selling yourself short and wake the fvck up !

  20. Drill. Im n environmentalist myself but unless these people come up with a very strong case i see no reason why the project should not continue. What if tanzania Decides to start drilling on their side? Won’t the feared possibility of leakage spill over to our side? Let us not sound intelligent on straight forward issues. We need to be economically sound to effectively save our environment

  21. Drill. Im n environmentalist myself but unless these people come up with a very strong case i see no reason why the project should not continue. What if tanzania Decides to start drilling on their side? Won’t the feared possibility of leakage spill over to our side? Let us not sound intelligent on straight forward issues. We need to be economically sound to effectively save our environment

    • Exactly, they should ask China and even US. There is no such a thing as risk free development. It’s a choice of remaining poor or trying new things.

  22. Mafuta asapopedwe munyanja ya MALAWI,mungotiwonongerapo nyanjayo,kayerekera akupindulira AZUNGU ndi ANTHU ENA akunga uko, koma MMALAWI angovutikirabe osadziwika zoti tili ndi m’godi.CHONDE AMALAWI ANZANGA tisalole zimenezi olemera adzingolemelelabe palibe chomwe chisinthe

  23. Mafuta asapopedwe munyanja ya MALAWI,mungotiwonongerapo nyanjayo,kayerekera akupindulira AZUNGU ndi ANTHU ENA akunga uko, koma MMALAWI angovutikirabe osadziwika zoti tili ndi m’godi.CHONDE AMALAWI ANZANGA tisalole zimenezi olemera adzingolemelelabe palibe chomwe chisinthe

  24. Kayelekera akutidyela masuku pamutu chifukwa chakupusa kwathu, motsogozedwa ndi atsogoleri. Kunena zoona zinthuzi kwa amene amazitenga bwino, ndikukuwuzani kuti Malawi izakhala china mwachangu. Koma ngati atsogoleri angapepele, palibe chathu, azungu azatibela.

  25. Kayelekera akutidyela masuku pamutu chifukwa chakupusa kwathu, motsogozedwa ndi atsogoleri. Kunena zoona zinthuzi kwa amene amazitenga bwino, ndikukuwuzani kuti Malawi izakhala china mwachangu. Koma ngati atsogoleri angapepele, palibe chathu, azungu azatibela.

  26. a Malawi sometimes tisamayiwale! Kodi za Kayelekela ankati chani??? Nanga pano zilipati?? panopa a Malawi akudya mzipatala? Ma nurse alembedwa ntchito??? Odl ilikut?? Zonsezi nchifukwa chani?? Oyilo timamadziwa akagwela mmadzi, ndipo enafe timathila mzithaphwi reason kupha udzudzu si udzdu okha umene umafa ayi! Koma zonse za moyo zimene zimapezeka mmadzi! Nanga kwa ife amene timadalila nyanja ya malawi tidya ndikupanga makwacha kuchoka mu usodzi pa nyanjayi???
    Izo nchabe tiziyang’ana komwe tachoka! Tapindula chani ku Kayelekera as a Nation! Umoyo wadyera a Malawi u so called urself ophunzila mudzasiya liti??? Yes we r in world of technology! Komano muli ndi zokuyenelezani?? Nthawi zina timakhala ndimwayi olowa mmatauni! Koma mmmm bola kumudzi!

  27. Let our fresh water b.what do want with oil uhv no company.no factory to use oil.Only 10 motorbiek then u want to distroy a lake fuck the minister no oil w used to buy.

  28. Let our fresh water b.what do want with oil uhv no company.no factory to use oil.Only 10 motorbiek then u want to distroy a lake fuck the minister no oil w used to buy.

  29. Fodya ndimalima ndine/ mtengo amapanga wina/ deal ya kayerekera/ akuyidyera ndi wakhungu loyera/ zidzatheka bwanj kupanga drill nkuzapindula wakhungu lakuda ngat ine/ chonde musapangitse kut ndisiye usodzi wangawu/

  30. It musn’t be drilled in my case coz we’ll destroy alot of Excellent foods that the Lake is able to provide across the World & that’s the only Lake globerly

  31. They must not drill, for the sake of our fresh water and fish.Even if they drill,its only a few people who shall benefit from it not malawi as whole.

  32. It will be vry few pple who will benefit from this project and making the jobless suffer,many pple depend on dis lake ie;fishermen,busnes guyz, even far from de lake the chiepies relish comes 4rom it.am olwez against it.

  33. whether they like it or not oil is to be drilled because licences have been granted already Malawi will soon join Opec countries kkkkkkkk

    • OPEC Countries my ass do u even know the amount of oil the lake has ? Ask urself which giant corporation got that licence ,Shell ,Sasol or whichever but it belongs to Europeans ,they will come and suck it dry leave ur grandma and cousins still dirt poor ku malindi kapena ku salima nsomba zonse zitafu ,,njala mbuu ,these people are devils they dont give a shit about poor Africans to them u no different from the monkey im the jungle ,,

    • OPEC Countries my ass do u even know the amount of oil the lake has ? Ask urself which giant corporation got that licence ,Shell ,Sasol or whichever but it belongs to Europeans ,they will come and suck it dry leave ur grandma and cousins still dirt poor ku malindi kapena ku salima nsomba zonse zitafa ,,njala mbuu ,madzi onse kuti mumve kudwala mankwala ake mukawagula afiti omvewo otamba mmasanawa ,,these people are devils they dont give a shit about poor Africans to them u no different from the monkey in the jungle ,,

    • Sibweni Nyirenda chalo nimazgolA chikazgola a gamphani pa nkhamanga let us wait and see why finish all your words from the throat u talking of somba which somba we have lake Kazuni kukaya uko South and North Rukulu somba zilimo with this attitude that’s why Malawians will remain 50 yrs behind instead of after 50 yrs you shud be as rich as Uganda Kenya Tanzania even Zambia is much better some of these things you gamble win or loose . The perception we have about kuononga nsomba is old fashioned .Do you see chambo in shops these days ? why ? They haven’t even drilled the oil already no fish in lake Malawi after before any thing starts EAR has to give report !

    • Please when drilling spea the view on the picture its the home of tourism industry. Lake Malawi National park among the best 5 in Africa

    • Please when drilling spea the view on the picture its the home of tourism industry. Lake Malawi National park among the best 5 in Africa

    • guys just imagine how these politicians steals and missuse the funds from donations,and then now try to imagine how these selfish leaders would behave with those govt developments invested in their own country.And u must also remember that the foreign sponsors of that project are goin to need their money back,so how long will it take for malawians to start making profits frm this project?

    • No if they drill u will die poor u fool ,,OPEC Countries my ass do u even know the amount of oil the lake has ? Ask urself which giant corporation got that licence ,Shell ,Sasol or whichever but it belongs to Europeans ,they will come and suck it dry leave ur grandma and cousins still dirt poor ku malindi kapena ku salima nsomba zonse zitafu ,,njala mbuu ,these people are devils they dont give a shit about poor Africans to them u no different from the monkey im the jungle ,,

  34. Zitsilu anthu andalewa akungofuna kutiwonongera nyanja yathu. Take Kayelekera for instance, Malawians benefi nothing yet there are reports that there are no uranium deposits as of now at Kayelekera. Wakeup Malawi osamangotengeka ndi zilizose.

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