Activist Mfiti says oil exploration in Lake Malawi must be stopped

A local environmental activist Godfrey Mfiti is persuading government to cancel oil exploration in Lake Malawi, saying it is categorised as a World Heritage site which could seriously dent the country’s image in environmental conservation.

Godfrey Mfiti: Stop Lake Malawi oil exploration

Godfrey Mfiti: Stop Lake Malawi oil exploration

“Oil exploration in Lake Malawi must be differred. It must be stopped. We need tools such as rules and regulations, policy framework and mechanism to monitor the oil drilling processes,” Mfiti told Nyasa Times.

“Our colleagues in other African Great Lakes ensure compliance on environmental concerns. I request a review of the whole oil process. Malawi must do an economic evaluation of the Lake Malawi. This will help to measure the cost and benefits. The lake has potential in other areas of tourism, agriculture and fisheries worth billions without negative environmental impact,” he added.

Mfiti said Malawi should not “exploit” its lake.

“Oil exploration is not a Tomato business. We need proper regulations. Now it’s like playing a game of soccer without rules and then introduce them later. Our political leadership needs sanity and patience,” said Mfiti.

Mfiti, who also heads a non-governmental organization called the Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD), also said Malawi breached International conventions and its own Parliamentary Acts on the oil exploration deal.

“By embarking in oil exploration on a World Heritage site, Malawi breached the convention. The process is conflicting with the 1972 World Heritage convention which Malawi is a signatory and ratified in 1994,” said Mfiti adding that ‘this also contravenes the Act which was enacted by Malawi Parliament.’

“Our main interest is the future because bio-diversity is irreplaceable; we need justice to be done. We cannot get it anywhere else, and the heritage is only found in Malawi. We have many examples where oil exploration has affected lives such as in Nigeria and other parts of the world where oil exploration has affected lives of people,” he said.

And the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has in its report warned Malawi Government against allowing foreign oil companies from conducting oil exploration on a part of Lake Malawi.

The UN body wants government to stay away from lies on the southern tip of Lake Malawi—the world’s third largest fresh water lake-and is located within the Lake Malawi National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Last November, government announced it was suspending the exploration exercise and a decision is yet to be made on cancellation and renegotiation of production sharing agreements (PSAs) with companies licensed to explore oil and gas. This follows a legal opinion from the Attorney General (AG) that faulted the manner some deals were awarded.

Under the Petroleum Regulations Act, the country is divided into six blocks for the exploration of oil.

Block one was awarded to Sac Oil Holdings Limited of South Africa whereas block two and three were awarded to British firm Surestream Petroleum in 2011, but Hamra Oil Holdings in 2011 acquired a 51 percent stake in the Surestream licences. Blocks four and five were awarded to Rakgas in 2013 whereas the sixth block went to Pacific Oil.

According to UNESCO report, it was recommended that Surestream and RAKGAS, as holders of oil exploration concessions in parts of Lake Malawi are encouraged to publicly subscribe to the commitment already made by industry leaders Shell and Total, which is not to undertake any exploration and/or exploitation of oil and gas inside World Heritage properties.

Mfiti says Malawi has been given the deadline of the 31st November, 2015 in order to respond to the UNESCO Report. As such, the department of Culture, Wildlife, Tourism and Parks has proceeded to request that the government withdraw the oil exploration process.

Nyasa Times understands that, Malawi government has cancelled blocks four and five and is ready to implement some recommendations by the UN agency on the matter.

Lake Malawi is one of the deepest lakes in the world and contains a larger number of fish species than any other lake.

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37 thoughts on “Activist Mfiti says oil exploration in Lake Malawi must be stopped”

  1. Winston Msowoya says:

    I would like to profoundly congratulate brother G.Mfiti for his professional narrative of Africa’s evil oil industry which the Malawi Govt.must pay vehement attention and consideration.Comprehensively,oil exploration worldwide,has caused prodigious havoc on peoples’ health and consequential environmental setup.The most affected parts are Africa and South America where the remaining rain forests of the Amazon are near extinction and the next potential target is the mighty Congo forests for its gargantuan mineral and other natural resources.It is foolhardy for Malawian so-called leaders to cogitated of drilling oil in Lake Nyasa/ Lake Malawi,while two other projects in the North viz: Kayelekera and Mchenga Coal Mine have been regrettably proved obsolete and health hazard to our people.Ordinary people in Africa’s oil rich areas have seen little or no benefit from huge revenues generated in their regions,Alex Vines, a researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch said.For instance,in Angola,the United Nations Index(UNI) revealed that the first output worth $6billion just vanished in 2011and the government,astonishingly,didn’t have any clue where it went,that is African way of doing things.Malawians must not be cajoled into thinking that if oil is found in Lake Nyasa/Lake Malawi whatever you call it,their predicament will come to an end,no.The beneficiaries will be the CEOs,Peter and his lackeys while the overwhelming majority of our people will still live in an abject poverty and despair.Not only that our lake will be contaminated and produce poisonous atmosphere,our wonderful fish species will disappear throwing all 15million people of our country and our neighbours into unprecedented lifetime catastrophe engulfing generations and generations to come.Malawians must realize the fact that when oil is finally discovered in the lake,Tanzanians and Mozambicans have also the rights to think of doing the same thing and nobody has the right to stop them.Afterall,the oil resource industry is hard wired for corruption.Kleptocracy,or government by theft,thrives.Observed by highly respected Journalist,Tom Burgis in his best narrative book,THE LOOTING MACHINE: WARLORDS,OLIGARCHS,CORPORATIONS,SMUGGLERS,AND THE THEFT OF AFRICA’S WEALTH,is worth reading by all Africans of great love for their fatherland Africa.

  2. i'm the guy in the ma units video says:

    reading the comments by you chanco boys, zikuoneka kuti mfanayu ndi captain. ndawerenga zokuti anadzithyola nkono kuti asamuthamangitse pa school (industrious/fast thinking), anamenya munthu ndi botolo (no-nonsense/kudana ndi zopusa), anadyetsa nkazi kwa azinzake (college pimping/identifying money-making opportunities from an early age)….lero ndi uyu ali pa internet dziko lonse lapansi likumva za iye. mark my words, pompano mumva kuti watola chikwama chofufuma heavy ndi u activist wakewo. mfiti ndiwe member. i’d like to shake your hand sir

  3. Why? says:

    Why are some people supporting a wizard (Mfiti)? Do we associate anything good from a mfiti? KKKKKKK. By the way, if a mfiti adathyola dala nkono wawo, was it real or a hoax? Was that supported by medical report or was there some match fixing with medical personnel?

  4. dee kay says:

    Before responding to this article, read about oil state condition in NIgeria. You will feel sorry should oil exploration be going on without guidelines. Nigerians in oil state can not drink clean water now. It’s a matter of time and you will not be able to swim in Lake Malawi because it will be dirty and contaminated

  5. Youngman says:

    Its a high time we stopped being too emotional. Take time to study documentaries on African countries where oil drilling is taking place. Nzoopsa kuona mitsinje inaonongeka ndi spilling oil and the componies dont bother no matter how louder cso s are crying out. Remember WE are poor because WE abuse our resources at all levels of society : in the family, communities mboma etc .

  6. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    REMOVE THAT OIL AND BAIL MALAWI FROM POVERTY. PRICES OF OIL AND GAS ARE GETTING WORSE BY THE DAY DUE TO WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY SOURCES. IF YOU DO NOT MINE OIL NOW YOU CAN AS WELL FORGET GETTING BENEFIT FROM THE RESOURCE.

    YOU REMOVE ALL THE TREES IN MALAWI, YOU REMOVE ALL THE FISH THROUGH THE SMALL MESH NETS AND LUMPS AT NIGHT, YOU POLLUTE RIVERS AND LAKES, YOU CULTIVATE EVEN IN THE RIVER BEDS AND SLOPPY HILLS – THEN YOU SAY DO NOT EXTRACT OIL DUE TO ENVIRONMENTAL FEAR. MR MFITI DOES NOT EVEN KNOW HOW OIL IS EXTRACTED FROM THE ROCK LAYERS AND CONVEYED TO THE SURFACE. HE DOES NOT EVEN KNOW THAT THE OIL BARGES WHICH MOVE ON LAKE MALAWI ARE MORE DANGEROUS AND RISKY THAN EXTRACTION.

  7. Prison Warden says:

    Iwe Mfiti, do you remember ku Chanco unamugenda sister wa Adrian ndi botolo la mowa bacause you were happy kuti akulola to withdraw on medical grounds after you deliberately broke your own arm? Good times. What about that time unakoka peri namudyetsa kwa anzako achina Lucifer (RIP) iye osadziwa nkumayesa it’s just you giving her a second round?

  8. i'm the guy in the ma units video says:

    chief, ndikulipililani kwa registrar kuti tisinthe dzina lanu ok? mungondipatsa phone yanu

  9. kivava mbwana says:

    Dolo weni weni
    Dream on

  10. KK says:

    I support Mr Mfiti. We will never benefit anything from these oil deals. We will wake up one day to realise that our beautiful lake is no more. Now I can see how un wise our President is.

  11. Chiphwafu says:

    I agree with you Mr Mfiti

  12. levelheaded says:

    Man abhobho koma dzina lanu ndi mfiti? Moti akazi anu ndi Mayi Mfiti? Ana anu ndi ana a Mfiti? Apongozi anu amati mwana wawo anakwatira ndi mfiti? Mnyumba mwanu mukalowa mfiti ndi chimodzimodzi kuti mwadzilowera nokha mnyumbamo.

    Koma man moti mutamatamba anthu atha kumati amfiti ndi mfiti.
    Iiii koma man mwandifowola nayo bwanji.

    1. Prison Warden says:

      KIKIKIKIKIKI

  13. Sex says:

    Wawa mfiti. Man ozithyola okha mkono to avoid being weeded pa Chanco

  14. Wadidinkhumphedza says:

    You need to stop development of your country when the world world you are talking about developed their nations using the same resource. I suspect you are mbuli yopita ku school. Your are an environmentalist who don’t yourself. Ngati akupasa ndalama, uzidya koma opanda ntendere ku Malawiko. The project will definately proceed. More fire Govt. We will meet and deflate this mfiti. Alibe mfundo apa.

  15. John says:

    IN THE ABSENCE OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION BILL, I SAY NO TO OIL DRILLING! WHAY ARE THESE POLITICIANS GROWING COLD FEET AT HEARING THIS BILL. THESE PEOPLE HIDE A LOT OF THINGS FROM US.

    NO WAY! UNLSEE WE HAVE INFORMATION BILL IN PLACE TO BRING ABOUT TRANNSPARENCY!

  16. John says:

    IF ALL COUNTRIES WERE TO STOP OIL EXPLORATION AND OIL BUSINESS AS MFITI IS SUGGESTION, HOW WOULD WE MOVE FROM PLACE TO PLACE? RESOURCES WERE CREATED FOR US TO MANAGE AND USE SUSTAINABLY. MFITI SHOULD BE TALKING OF SUSTAINABLE USE AND NOT STOPPING EXPLORATION. MOREOVER, OIL DRILLING AND EXPLORATION ARE NOT THE SAME. IN EXPLORATION, YOU JUST WANT TO SEE WHAT IS THERE.

    MFITI MUST JUST SHUT UP.

  17. CHOKANGA says:

    MR MFITI , YOU ARE JUST AS STRANGE AS YOUR NAME. WHO ARE YOU SPEAKING FOR? iF YOU ARE AN ORGANIZATION WORTH TO BE CALLED ONE YOU CAN NOT SIMPLY RUSH TO DECISIONS BUT YOU SHOULD SHARE WHAT FINDINGS YOU HAVE WITH MALAWIANS AND ONLY THEN YOU CAN PLEAD WITH THEM TO SEE YOUR POINT OF VIEW. MALAWI HAS ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE SCIENTIESTS, ENVIRONMETISTS, EDUCATIONISTS, AND MANY OTHER PROFFESSIONS. PLEASE DONT GIVE US AN ALTITUDE

  18. Nathenje trading center says:

    We need intelligent people like Mr Godfrey Mfiti if Malawi is to develop.
    I have been thinking and being bothered by this Malawi Oil issue for a longtime.
    The exact same questions that Mr Mfiti has raised are always troubling my mind.

    Are we Malawians that sleepy and dumb?
    How can you give licences for oil explorations without any legal framework to control such a delicate activity.
    And we never learn from past mistakes,Paladin has robbed us in clear daylight and we are just smiling like a mentally retarded person.

  19. Ayaya kumudzi says:

    Change your surname sir

  20. mpagaja says:

    hehede Godfrey Mfiti kodi Degree ija mudamaliza kapena yanu ija

    1. Prison Warden says:

      search me. This dude broke the record for repeating ku Chanco. He started with BSc and ended with BAH

  21. Truck says:

    VUTO NDILAKUTI MUKUFUNA 40% SHARE YA OIL WITHOUT PUTTING ANY CENT THATS WHY INVESTORS ARE RUNNING AWAY.HOW CAN YOU GIVE FREE ALMOST HALF OF YOUR MONEY OF YOUR COMPANY TO SOMEONE FOR FREE ITS IMPOSSIBLE.

  22. Wamaka says:

    MFITI?, a name???

  23. Mlomwe says:

    No wonder ur name is Mr Mfiti. Afiti amafuna anthu osauka.
    Never forget Mfiti kwake nkupha, kuba ndi kuononga.

  24. chileka boy says:

    mfiti ndi mfitidi ndi dzina lake. do u know that with techology,oil can be tapped without polluting even a single drop of water in lake malawi?

  25. akuntinji anamuona says:

    There you are Mr Mfiti, getting recognition for fighting that Malawi should stay in poverty because is world heritage site. Uuh guys we need to be serious. Those international organization are not supporting us anymore, so you want this generation die with poverty while with have millions on the grounds? God forbid.

    If you are getting funding for such iniatives, know that it’s you and your organisation that are benifiting not the whole Malawi.

    We can’t waste time debating about this issue, it’s about cost benefit analysis. Let them finish exploration and we do cost benefit analysis versus your assumed conservation wisdom.

    There is no need to withdraw exploration, it should go ahead,once it is done, we do all the necessarily evaluation before accepting and rejecting exploration.

    Worried with denting world image while people are suffering that should not stop us. If the project will be feasible, we are going to use advanced techniques that are environment friendly and learn from Nigeria so that we do not mess around.

    Payere Payere fisi anadya mkazake masana. Apa ti solver 1+1=11

  26. malani says:

    Guys, im on the side of mr. Mfiti.lets think wisely b4 start the exploration of oil on our lake. Think we had kayerekera mine.these politicians told us that Malawi will b a multi billion country once they start the mine. Today Malawi is poor than b4 kayerekera.

  27. Wa chimalawi says:

    Amene akuti tilemera are kidding themselves, the poor will get poorer and the few corrupt politicians will get even richer, I don’t see benefits of destroying our beautiful lake which benefits a lot of fishermen and small individuals. God forbid an oil accident happened on lake malawi, lives will be destroyed

  28. Prince Edward rsa says:

    And it must be condemed in strongst possible terms.In this time of dpp the untrusted pipo,during bingu squandard billion of dollar at kayerekela uranium mining now they bang the tables to say i abillionare munthu wa misala kukamwakwako stealing everything if they can try you see petro bombs there ok.
    Pipo full of mismanagement mindset anthu osawuka inu.

  29. Amfiti,dzina lanu lodana ndi zabwino.inu ndinu mbumbudzera wachabe chabe.

  30. Dolo weni weni says:

    for your information, Lake Malawi is shared between Malawi and Mozambique. It only borders with Tanzania.

  31. mtumbuka1 says:

    Good call since nobody will benefit from the so called oils apart from Peter mutharika and his dpp cronies who surrounds him. We don’t need a scenario where the oil become the biggest sponsor off dpp party as was the case with kayerekera. My first time in my life to support a person called “mfiti” which means a witch. Once again thank you Mr mfiti you are a good mfiti far much better than mfiti peter mutharika.

  32. peter muthanyula says:

    We shall die poor. We are cursed!

  33. Nabanda says:

    One day I will be your wife, I prefer to be called MRS MFITI!!!!

  34. Pitala Paulendo says:

    Mfiti yalowa m’bwalo tsopano.

  35. patricia kaliyati says:

    mfiti tikuvutika anthufe koma mabungwe onse mwatchula apa sakubwera kudzatithandidza. Ma declarations ndi ma act sidzikubweretsa ndalama kuno. Vuto liri ku malawi ndi sticking to classroom work abandoning the current situation. YOU HAVE TO MOVE WITH THE TIDE MAN AND NOT AGAINST IT. IFE TIKUFUNA OIL TILEMERE NGATI SAUDI ARABIA, KUWAIT, QATAR, IRAN, RUSSIA, UAE osati not your stupid un charters.

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