Govt probes extent of mass fish death on Lake Malawi in Karonga

Malawi government through the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Energy and Mining says investigations to establish the extent of fish kills and their possible causes on Lake Malawi in Karonga district are underway and that the nation will be duly informed once such investigations are concluded.

Dead fish found along the Lake Malawi

Dead fish found along the Lake Malawi

The development comes after the fish kills was linked to the discharge of waste water by Kayerekera Mine in the district.

It is being speculated that Paladin Africa Limited has secretly started discharging radioactive waste water into surrounding water bodies which in turning is causing the fish kill.

Floating dead fish were observed in the areas of Nyungwe, Hanga, Phapha, Makhala and Kambwe which along the Lake Malawi.

According to the department of fisheries, the floating fish, observed in December 2014, were Chambo, Kampango, Utaka, Mlamba, Ncheni, Nkholokolo, Mbuna and Chisawasawa, among others.

“The dead fish that were sampled from the affected areas were however all rotten,” said Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Erica Maganga.

“The public is hereby informed that investigations that were conducted recently show that Kayerekera Uranium Mine has never released any effluent into the environment from its storage facilities.

“It should also be noted that in the rivers surrounding the mine including North Rukuru River, there were no cases of fish kills observed,” she further explained.

Scientific knowledge points to the fact that the oxygen deficient waters have high concentrators of Hidrogen Sulphide and Carbon Dioxide and when fish are exposed to these conditions, they suffocate and die.

While the fish kills in Lake Malawi have been observed on a large-scale starting in 1999, the Karonga scenario is the first case of localised fish kills in recent times, according to Maganga.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has urged people to desist from collecting, selling and utilising the floating dead fish in any form whether through direct human consumption or as livestock feed.

“This is mainly due to the fact that any dead fish is likely to be infested with pathogenic bacteria,” said Yanira Ntupanyama, Secretary for Natural Resources.

Prior to 1999, the fish kills were reported to have occurred some 40 to 50 year back, but since 1999, the fish kills have occurred lake-wide in the periods 2005-2006, 2010-2011 and in August 2014 and recently in December 2014 as well..

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24 thoughts on “Govt probes extent of mass fish death on Lake Malawi in Karonga”

  1. freedom says:

    This is not the first time to see dead fish in lake Malawi.ask the people that reside along with lake Malawi from kaporo to mangochi bridges.some of you should comment after research and proof.you are the kind of people who don’t have real facts about the whole thing and yet you are in the for front.kunena kwa ndithe ndithe nathambwe anazitengera.muzagwira mabi pagulu.if you don’t have idea of what you want to communicate,just read about the proposed discussion and knowledge will increase in you better.wake up Malawi we are shooting our selves in the foot.i think ulova wavuta that’s why we have this unending stand off in every way possible.

  2. Batata says:

    I think we must debate the idea of re stocking the lake – 2 million people live from the lake fish or more. It is important the min of fisheries seriously looks into this and starts now otherwise it would affect our kids as there is no fish

  3. Ciss says:

    zaka zonse sizinayambe zachitika,hw come suffocations ds time? There is something behind God will expose

  4. Kenkkk says:

    Cover all angles and possible sources of this toxin. Consult and discuss with Tanzania as well. They may be facing the same problem!! They also fish In The lake.

  5. Du says:

    Stupid zanu nonse olamuranu!

  6. Patriot says:

    Agenda for change boy dzulo lija amati palibe nkhani apa.
    Koma ukachita associate ndi Demonic Progr. Party eish

  7. Vavlov says:

    Malawi fisheries is run by mediocre personnel, with neither interest nor expertise to determine the cause of fish death. In fact it should be vey easy to determine the cause, but what will happen is several visits to Karonga to earn allowances and at the end you wont hear anything convincing from them. Two hypotheses may hold for the die-off: (a) eutrophication , especially due to poisonous red algae – a situation that would be more likely in the deeper parts of the lake; usually as a result of western trade winds (vuma), which prevails between October and November – steers deep waters and brings red algae into the water column; (b) uranium pollution, if indeed the effluents were discharged into the aquatic system. There is high possibility this may be the cause. . What are the environmental safeguards and who is monitoring the mining operations at Kayerekela? It is worrying how unconcerned Malawians are when it comes to environmental issues. What does the minister say? Does he even understand the dangers this may cause if it is uranium poising? The impact may also manifest in people, if it is uranium poisoning. It is sad, when lives of people are not considered in favour of mining operations that may only truly benefit political leaders.

  8. I will not trust any report about this uyo Maganga akukana akuti si uranium koma ndi hydrogen sulphide ndi carbon dioxide ndeno aku miinstryko azatiuza chani chachilendo? Siapa mwatchula zifukwa zanu mbuzi inu kufuna kutisokoneza mitu basi. Anzeru khalani ndinu. Ziphuphu basi lankhulani zoona kumtundu wanu wa malawi mukulephera mukufuna tonse. Timwalire musale ndinu mayooo ambuye bwerani tipulumuseni mmanja mwa asatana tikutha.

  9. Chabecheker says:

    Oil exploration in the lake is the cause of all this;please invite united nations experts and inspectors

  10. Please amuboma chitaniponi kanthu apa,ngati nsomba zikufa chonchi kuli bwanji anthu okhala mumbali mwanyanjayo atati amwe madziwo?

  11. Kenkkk says:

    Parallel Market, I totally agree with you. Last time I recall they said the fish were also dying in Kaporo.

    It will stupid, incompetent and irresponsible if the govt does not collaborate with Tanzania on this matter. Tanzanian rivers also drain into lake Malawi and they may have their own heavy industries that are releasing toxic wastes directly into the lake or through their rivers. If done deliberately, could this be to for r matters on ownership? But they will also be poisoning their own fish and people!!!

    The dying fish could also be in lake waters that reach their shore. So please contact your counter parts in TZ to see if they also have the same problem and come up with a joint clean- up solution.

    I suppose they will at the same time trap us and say you see the lake belongs to both of us. But leave the lake ownership politics aside for the timebeing and deal with this life threatening poisoning of the lake that can kill humans if left unchecked.

  12. kondwani says:

    aboma nonse pathako panu tu pa kufwa inongwa ya mwe wa kambwe umwe

  13. william says:

    Sometimes we can say education helps in really fact oh no we can say people who went to school knows better than those not today. Niks,wisdom is better than intelligence why they go deep with education only to fool their own community more especially these so called politicians

  14. Mhesha says:

    Abrupt and rxtreme rise in water temp in deep waters caused this death. ..nothing else.

  15. KINGSOLOMONS PALACE says:

    I HEARD MBS HAS LATEST TESTIN EQUIPMENT AS REPORTED IN THE NEWSPAPERS.TESTIIN FOR TELL TALE SIGNS DOES NOT EVEN TAKE AN HOUR.HAPPYLHM

  16. KINGSOLOMONS PALACE says:

    PLS DO NOT GO ROUND ABOUTS HERE WE WANT THE FISH TO BE TESTED FOR TALE -TELL SIGNS OF URANIUM CONTAMINATION.DO NOTE TEL US ABOULT SULPHATES AND CARBONDIOXIDE NOW.SOME OF US HAVE STUDIED AND GONE TO LABS.SO IF THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT URANIUM CONTAMINATION;WE NEED TO CARYOUT TESTS IN THAT SAME LINE. THE TOXICOLOGY REPORT MUST FIRST AND FOREMOST DISPEL THE FEAR OR INDEED CONFIRM THE FEARS DEPENDING ON THE RERULTS.WE MUST HAVE WELL DOCUMENTED REPORT AND AVAILABLE TO THE POPULACE ONREPUEST.PLS DO NOT FEED US ASUMED OR PRECONCIEVED REASONS.REMEMBER FUTURE GENERATINS SHALL JUDGE.NATURE ITSELF WILL GIVE A PERFECT ANSWER IN THE LONG RUN-NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE RESULT.HAPPYLHM

  17. mona says:

    Report limeneli lidzatuluka Mu 2019 a malawi ndi mmene timagwilira ntchito.
    Zinthu zoti zikupha nsomba ngati izi can also kill citizens remember anthu timamwa madzi omwe iiiiiii a malawi tinapusa moonjeza naonso atsogoleri ndiye zitsiru za anthu, makani patsogolo kubakira paladin.

  18. kwenda says:

    Dziko ndi anthu opusa, koma matenda akayamba kumenenekoko mpamene mudzadziwe vuto la ulenium, mmaiko ena sangapange zimenezo koma amalawi kupepera kwabasi. Ovutika ndi abale athu amene alimbali imeneyo.koma bama lithu likudikira kuti ena adwale kapena kufa kumene ndie mudzidzalankhula.

  19. Mwana Wa Mackmillan says:

    When u gonna wake up Malawi ? We have fool leaders in Malawi that is very big problm in this country

  20. mwatigulitsiladi dziko lija zoona?

  21. akumeakume says:

    ABOMA INU MULIBE CHILUNGAMO NSOMBA ZATHU ZIKUTHA KOMA MUKUTI SI KAYELEKELA MUKUTHANDAUZA CHANI. AM FROM KARONGA I HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.WHY ARE YOU BUSY HIDING PALADIN ANAKUPASANI ZAMBIRI ETI?ANTHUWA ATIONONGELA NTHAKA YATHU KU KARONGA.KARONGA IS NO LONGER AT PEACE THIS TIME.EARTHQUAKES ALL OVER BUT WE ARE NOT BENEFITTING ANYTHING FROM THESE THEIVES,THEY ARE BUSY STEALING OUR MINERALS AND YET INU ABOMA MUKUWABAKILA WHY ALL THIS NONSE?

  22. yako ija says:

    Is the caption above depicting massive death of fish ?

    1. Namarokoro says:

      The captions are self explanatory. The guy is from Karonga and you know how these people speak chichewa. They speak in capital letters. And lomwes speak in small letters. Kkkkkkkkkk! Malawi is one of the kind!

  23. Parallel Market says:

    Malawi Govt, u need to go to bottom of this fish kill problem. Check what is happening on the Tanzanian side. They too can pollute the Lake and can do so deliberately. Do exhaustive investigations on this problem and give us a report. Chifukwa chiani amalawi timapanga zinthu zobwelera mbuyo despite kupita ku school? I am disappointed.

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