Lake Malawi hits highest water level in a decade

Water level in Lake Malawi has risen to about 1 meter higher than was the case same time last year – the highest point in nearly a decade.

Water-sports on Lake Malawi at Nkopola Lodge

This is according to data collected from the country’s three main water level monitoring stations at Chilumba in Karonga, Nkhata – Bay and Monkey Bay in Mangochi district.

“On 20th April, the level was at 474.82 metres. That is 0.65 metres higher than was the case same time last year,” confirmed Simeon Shumba, publicist in the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development.

He argued the development which has partly submerged some beaches along the country’s lakeshore districts is a result of above normal rainfall within the lake’s catchment area and water control mechanisms from the lake’s sole outlet Shire River at the newly constructed Kamuzu Barrage in Liwonde. The barrage was constructed to regulate water flow that only the amount that is required is released for downstream users, thereby storing some for use in time of need. This way, it also helps regulate water levels in the lake.

“About 98% of our hydroelectricity is generated from the Shire River. The success of such including seamless water supply by the Blantyre Water Board and irrigation for Illovo and Kasinthula schemes is dependent on constant and relatively high water flow from the lake into the Shire River,” said Shumba.

Shumba added the rise is “still 0.52 metres below normal level for the past 50 years, pointing out that nearly 52 percent of water in the lake comes from Tanzania. The lake last reached its lowest record at 472.94 metres in 1997, a level that was last registered in 1931. At 477. 24 metres, Lake Malawi’s record level rise was noted in 1980 following exceptionally high annual rainfalls between 1977 and 1979 within the lake’s catchment area.

Records at the Ministry of Irrigation indicate Lake Malawi reached its lowest level of about 470 metres in 1915, a development which stopped the lake’s outflow into the lake’s sole outlet Shire for a 22 years. The 580 kilometre long fresh water body is the south most lake of the Great African Rift valley, with the greatest width of up to 80 kilometres. The 5th largest in the world by volume, the lake is a vast resource in food and employment. It is home to a global record of an estimated 1000 fish species.

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Zenda
Zenda
9 months ago

This makes no sense at all. The water at Mangochi is way below anything in the past 10 years. Absolute Horseshit reporting!

Jimmy
Jimmy
9 months ago

this is disaster to those owning homes along the beaches

Chiswa B
Chiswa B
9 months ago

Ndiyeno madzi akakwera ife zutikhudza bwanji poti sitikuona kusiyana

5star
5star
9 months ago

You should have reported better, what does the increment mean in economic aspects and others, the impacts, both negative and positive, etc

Mthakupoli
Mthakupoli
9 months ago

The new and improved barrage was dpp development idea, hence you should thank apm for higher than normal water levels in our lake.

Bamusi
9 months ago
Reply to  Mthakupoli

Ntanja ya Tanzania, anakulandani, mwanguti ziii pa nkhaniyi

Chittanooga
Chittanooga
9 months ago
Reply to  Bamusi

Produce documents to prove your point such as an agreement purporting to back your point.

Kombozo
Kombozo
9 months ago
Reply to  Chittanooga

the backing point is that the Tanzania Government deployed 5 big ships which are operating in the lake without asking for permission from Malawi

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