Environmental activist Godfrey Mfiti has written a book on the current challenges facing Lake Malawi including oil exploration.
In an interview with this reporter, Mfiti said the book which got unveiled last Friday at LA Caverna Top Mandala in the commercial city of Blantyre, is titled ‘Lake Malawi: The coming disaster’.
He said the book will also be launched in Lilongwe on 23rd February, 2017 at Nature’s Garden during a Lilongwe Wildlife Environment Society Monthly and he will later give a public lecture.
The activist said the book talks about the current challenges facing Lake Malawi which include overfishing, climate change, unsustainable economic activities, unsustainable mining activities, industrial pollution and sedimentation from agricultural activities.
“The book gives a clear explanation of the impending disaster to caution policymakers. The book highlights the aquatic ecology of Lake Malawi, and the oil drilling process in a freshwater lake. This book also depicts anticipated challenges that will result from drilling oil in a freshwater lake.’’
“A critical analysis has been provided in the book to guide decision makers. The book aims at informing policy to all stakeholders to balance conservation and oil exploration in Lake Malawi,” said Mfiti.
He added that the book appreciates that oil exploration upon completion will lead to drilling if enough oil is found in Lake Malawi hence the need for policymakers to provide safety nets for local communities.
He further said that the book also proposes withdrawal of oil exploration activities and concentrate on alternative sustainable economic activities.
Tourism and agriculture for example are proposed as sustainable means. He then called on all Malawians, decision makers, Members of Parliament and technocrats to read the book to understand and prepare for the coming disaster or avert it.
The work to come up with the book took Mfiti two years of consultations, travel, observations, literature review and public meetings in Malawi and the whole Africa great lakes region.
The book also highlights case studies of environmental pollution and Mfiti hopes that the book will later be translated into local languages.
He however called on donors to help in mass production of the book so most people can read it.
The launch will be graced by members of the diplomatic community, some government officials, WESM members and other interested individuals not forgetting members of the media and public institutions.