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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Winston Msowoya
Guest
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… Read more »
i'm the guy in the ma units video
Guest
i'm the guy in the ma units video

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

Why?
Guest

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?

dee kay
Guest

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

Youngman
Guest

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 .

victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi
Guest
victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi
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… Read more »
Prison Warden
Guest

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?

i'm the guy in the ma units video
Guest
i'm the guy in the ma units video

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

kivava mbwana
Guest

Dolo weni weni
Dream on

KK
Guest

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.

wpDiscuz

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