Oil Pollution In Malawi

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The drilling of oil is soon to commence in Malawi following the recent discovery of oil in the depths of the third largest freshwater lake in Africa. Lake Malawi also referred to as Lake Nyasa is one of the main tourist attractions in the small country of Malawi. It plays a very important role in the lives of millions of Malawians who use the lake as a source of water, electricity, irrigation and fish. It is an important living resource in Malawi because of the fisheries sector in the country which supplies a large number of Malawian’s with jobs. The lake that the British explorer David Livingstone (1859) once referred to as the “Lake of Stars” has the largest number of tropical fish species on the Earth in comparison to all the other lakes,…show more content…
It is a popular belief that the oil business will improve the economy of one of the poorest countries in the world, while several people neglect the fact that the lake is at a high risk of being polluted by oil spills that usually occur during the drilling process. Oil pollution as a result of oil spills is one of the negative side effects caused by the drilling of oil on Lake Malawi. One of the main threats oil pollution poses to one of the largest lakes in Africa is the endangerment of life under water. According to Lakapedia (2015) “Lake Malawi is home to the greatest number of fish species among all lakes on Earth, including 1,000 species of cichlids”. Oil pollution is supposedly one of the most dangerous forms of marine pollutant in existence. Its effects are not only very harmful to the fish living in the lake but are also said to be permanent. There are a number of living conditions fish need in order to survive, the most important one being oxygen. As a result of pollution the oxygen level under water decreases and because the density of oil is less than that of water and it floats to the surface forming a thick layer that prevents marine organisms from coming up to the top for sunlight and oxygen. Therefore, it can be said that the drilling of oil has negative effects on Lake Malawi…show more content…
According to research done by Friday J. Njaya (2006) the fisheries sector in Malawi contributes a great deal to the security and livelihood of nearly 85% of Malawians. Lake Malawi is the main source of fish production in Malawi and research suggests that 40 to 50 percent of the total annual landings are from the lake itself. The fisheries sector in the country is divided into two categories often referred to as Subsistence and Commercial fisheries. Subsistence fisheries may be defined as fishing that is done for consumption purposes while commercial fishing is usually defined as fishing done for mostly commercial purposes and can be divided into two categories namely the small-scale and large-scale commercial. The fisheries industry or sector is one of the major sources of employment in Malawi with around 230, 000 of Malawians employed either directly or indirectly in the industry. As a result of the drilling of oil the lake is at risk of oil pollution which may lead to the endangerment of the fish species thus rendering the fisheries industry in Malawi doomed. In addition to the impact the drilling of oil has on the fisheries sector another negative effect of drilling oil is hunger caused by the extinction of one of the main sources of food for

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