Ha ha ha: Batting it for the fish and Malawi’s poor fishing communities

Lets be very brief in the year 2014. And well, yes, wishing you all a prosperous and great year 2014 – with its enviable and non-exciting offerings of May 20 tirpartite elections, and of course, ‘possibilities’ possible and impossible!

Malawi sometimes smells a cursed nation. Mwanza Four. Fieldyork. MK61 billion. Farting Laws. Shoot to Kill. Academic Freedom. Cash-gate. Jet-gate and Paramount. Poor soccer showing. Crime Gangs. Etc, etc.

And yet again, sometimes we seem awash with the positives of the faithful world. Major Prophet Bushiri (and his string of baby-making young ladies). Simama (and the wealth he cannot explain). Parophet Bently Chawinga (and who stays at State House or bust!) TB Joshua visits (and the blessings that most Malawians seek from Naija), the list remains endless here too!

Then the health realm, where some people believe they are close to immortal that any mention of sickness to their body is not only hogwash, but a straight pee in the beer bottle, and of course, thousands dying for lack of medications in our hospitals – auspices of the political players changing places somewhere up there every 5 years or whatever.

But today’s topic is the environment and the dangers that man-made get-rich-quick schemes pose on the already marginalized and poor people.

I am thinking about that child who delights every morning on the shores of dear Lake Malawi (Taifas hands-off, please), knowing that probably from breakfast to supper that day, and the quick snacks along the way, will most definitely be fruits of this great fresh water reservoir (God given and free). I am also thinking about that poor mother, who cannot labor the gardens on day’s end as she has to be home and take care of her ‘fleet’ of children, thinking with eyes of hope in the direction of the lake, that come sunset her husband would have laboured the lake and brought enough fish for both the pot and the dilapidated market bench – for a penny or two towards clothes and soap and hey, salt!

I am thinking of that young girl, whose only hope for a brighter future derives from the future derives only from the possible little money her brothers and father will make from fish sales – to etch out something to pay for her school needs.

I am thinking more of the poor boys and hard-worn-out fathers that must change shifts between being school boys and fishermen – fathers and fishermen, to labour the rough tides so as to ensure their home, their community, and by large (bonya in the game) the whole nation can at least have a dose not only of the much needed protein that aquatic foods are known for, but also for something small into their holed pockets.

In simple terms, I am wondering at how our government, yes, using those archaic laws and policies and whatever legal frameworks you call, are doing to protect the interests of Malawians over those of rich and greedy multi-national investors that are eyeing Malawi’s hidden minerals.

Yes, Surestream is now going full throttle to pollute our lake. What will happen to our people? That small child, that poor girl, that mother, and boy and hey, man? On the expense of the Presidency and a handful men and women at Capital Hill, we are pushing our already down-trodden people to the grave by allowing some people to exploit our natural resources and pollute our fresh lake waters.

Who needs that oils deposits when we all know that only the Presidency and a few people in the Surestream deal are the only people that are going to benefit?

We have had the Kayerekera nightmare still haunting us. And we are fearful of what is happening in Mzimba. What, indeed, has benefited the people of Rumphi mining coal years on edge? What has benefited the people of Changalume mining stone for cement as it were with Portland? What has benefited the people of Njuli for that quarry plunder?

We have many questions unanswered.

These foreigners are giving us a raw deal. They are stealing from us. This land is ours – it is our Eden (to quote some religious circles) and we must benefit from it more than anyone else.

We want better laws governing mines and mining in Malawi. We cannot rely on the 1980s piece of laws today. Its either stop dishing out those licences and review those archaic laws or attracting the wrath of the citizen.

Well, I fight for my survival. We all fight for our well-being. Is Surestream ready to bring it on? Don’t dare kill our fish and disturb our Eco-system. Ten meters is way too much damage to our aquatic environment.

And since we are towards elections, government better think carefully on such important matters. Its life or death – State House or ….?

Enough is enough and the die must be cast – just in brief!Masinga HA  HA HA

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