Minister Msaka rejects warning on Malawi oil exploration: ‘Anxiety unfounded’

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka vowed Tuesday to press on with oil and gas exploration on Lake Malawi, dismissing World Heritage Centre warning, especially the bloc that has the Lake Malawi National Park which is a world heritage site.

Minister of Energy and mining Bright Msaka :Vows to continue with oil project

Minister of Energy and mining Bright Msaka :Vows to continue with oil project

Msaka said government cannot compromise the lake in pursuit of oil.

“Government is proceding with oil exploration in Lake Malawi,” said Msaka in a local radio interview.

“Our concerns is not about environmentalist. We care about Lake Malawi and we would not want  IT to be polluted,” he said.

Msaka stressed that here is no reason to stop the oil exploration project

“Technology today make it possible that we drill on the land not on the lake,” he said.

He said the “anxiety” by environmental activists  is “unfounded”.

“There is evidence that there is oil on the land and also on Lake Malawi,” said Msaka.

But Msaka’s comments where sharply criticised by political activist Dan Msowoya of Mzuzu through Capital Radio’s Daybreak Malawi who read his text.

Msowoya  accused Msaka of displaying “executive arrogance”, saying he should heed the advice of the experts.

Observers says Msaka position is not suprising considering rumours of corruption allegations on licence holders of the oil project.  Msaka is said to be the major beneficiary  of being ‘palm  oiled’ and the project has made him top rich man in Malawi.

Director of Institute of Sustainable Development, a local non-governmental organisation advocating environmental rights, Godfrey Mfiti, said his organisation believes that the National Park has to be protected and the entire oil exploration activities in Lake Malawi should be withdrawn.

“The conservation efforts of Lake Malawi National Park can’t be compatible with oil exploration as it threatens the Outstanding Universal Values of Lake Malawi,” Mfiti said.

“ It is very clear from the World Heritage Convention that Lake Malawi is bound to lose its source of cichlids. The lake boasts about over a thousand cichlids where 300 are unique to Malawi. Malawian ordinary citizens will be great losers should the oil exploration continue since this is a source of protein for many Malawians in rural and urban areas,” he said.

He noted that oil exploration will also affect the quality of drinking water from the lake at a time when the country is struggling to provide drinking water to its citizenry in major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.

However, Msaka downplayed the fears stressing that the public has to understand that it is possible to drill oil but taking measures that there should be no spilling.

Malawi has been requested to submit a progress report to the World Heritage Centre by February 1, 2017 and an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and implementation of the above for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.

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Wizilachi Nyirenda
Guest
Wizilachi Nyirenda
1 month 12 days ago

Mr.Mhango seems not to have travelled outside Malawi and so with myriad of politicians.Mhango,seeing is believing try to travel outside Malawi you will learn a lot you fool.

Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
1 month 12 days ago
I met Bright Msaka between 1996/1997 in Edmonton,Canada when he paid a short visit to very few Malawians who lived there.A mid discussions,I was moved by his eloquence when he partriotically said that he did not agree with MCP’s imposition of Quota System that creates national disunity and laxation and went on to say afterall,Northerners are hard working citizens who do not deserve such draconian treatment by their own government.However,his entanglement into a would be spoliate oil project with gargantuan sequel,is the work of Muthalika and his misguided opportunists waiting to enrich themselves from oil revenues which the overwhelming wretched… Read more »
mufwa mkandawire
Guest
1 month 15 days ago

Bright Msaka is not an environmentalist neither a Biodiversity Conservation Expert. He is simply a historian, I mean a lawyer who just read books and related to what has happened elsewhere in the world period.

Therefore, he doesn’t know anything about the complexity of the environment. I advise him to go to NIGERIA and see for himself the magnitude of oil pollution that is happening there in River Volta.

This minister is another greedy one.

Jahmes Mhango
Guest
Jahmes Mhango
1 month 15 days ago

This is to ignorant of the factors that drive the economy. How long can be poor and yet there are resources to address the problems. What is pollution really. We should adapt. Its to ill-informed. Extract the oil and the rest will follow.

Kanchenga
Guest
Kanchenga
1 month 14 days ago
Foolishness at it’s best. It is true that oil can be extracted safely just like uranium. That is in a country known for its safety standards and leaders who love their country. However in Malawi where leaders are broken and corrupt and Foolishness surround both private and public corridors that is impossible. Now we have hope that after this lot is gone clever engineers will get water for our cities from the lake. Hope that after this lot tourist experts will develop the shores our lake into a haven of economic activity. To allow oil extraction while this rotten and… Read more »
mufwa mkandawire
Guest
1 month 15 days ago

My plain question. Did Uranium mining in Karonga address the poverty of the country and local Malawians? If the answer is YES, then let extract oil and if the answer is NO, it better you think twice before things get out of hand.

nana gondwe
Guest
nana gondwe
1 month 15 days ago

point of correction River volta is in Ghana and not Nigeria get your facts right before commenting

Kanchenga
Guest
Kanchenga
1 month 14 days ago
That doesn’t change the truth in his message. The Nigerian situation is really sad. I have been to the delta state.If we had that situation in Malawi Blantyre city would be wiped out due to water problem. The lower Shire would also go. The sugar factory would be history. Despite opening up of the media Malawians know very little of facts that really matter. Very few Malawians really know the danger we exposed ourself by allowing that greedy palladin to mine uranium in Karonga but make no mistake we will pay for that mistake despite the fact that Malawi never… Read more »
M Sizini
Guest
M Sizini
1 month 15 days ago

There are those who say that Msiska is just another blind captain sailing his Titanic into an iceberg. I disagree. There was never any suspicion that the captain of the Titanic was paid to sail his ship into the iceberg.

M Sizini
Guest
M Sizini
1 month 15 days ago

Pepani: aMsaka.

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