8 August 2016 Last updated at: 6:31 AM
Govt cautioned on Lake Malawi oil exploration
On 29th July,2016 the World Heritage Center wrote the Malawi Diplomat Charge de affairs Joseph Chiteyeye in Brussles, Belgium on issues surrounding Lake Malawi oil exploration.
The letter from the Director of world heritage center Machtild Rossler was copied to UNESCO Commission of Malawi and the department of sports and culture in Malawi.
The World Heritage Center ask Malawi Government to with draw oil exploration in Lake Malawi.
It has reiterated its concern over oil exploration activities especially on Lake Malawi National Park which is a world heritage site.
This decision was made at the World Heritage Convention 40th Session meeting in Istanbul that took place in July this year.
Views of Environmental Rights Activist Godfrey Mfiti Director of Institute of Sustainable Development
As an Environmental Rights Organization we believe Lake Malawi National Park has to be protected and the entire oil exploration activities in Lake Malawi be withdrawn.
The Conservation efforts of Lake Malawi National Park cannot be compatible with oil exploration as it threatens the Outstanding Universal Values of Lake Malawi.
It is very clear from the World Heritage Convention that Lake Malawi is bound to lose its source of cichlids.
The Lake boast about over a thousand cichlids where three hundred are unique to Malawi. Malawian ordinary citizens will be great losers should the oil exploration continue since this is a source of protein for many Malawians in rural and urban areas.
The oil exploration will also affect the quality of drinking water from the lake at a time when the country is struggling to provide drinking water to its citizenry in major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.
At the same time the rural communities in most district of Malawi lack safe and clean drinking water.
In the attached annex Rakgas and Surestream have been requested not to explore for oil on Lake Malawi National Park. We therefore request the companies to comply with the World Heritage Center demands.