Study exposes thin plastic threat: No fish in Lake Malawi by 2050

The continued use and production of thin plastics is said to cause more harm than good that if the country is not careful it will have no fish stocks in Lake Malawi by 2050, according to findings from an independent assessment.

Report exposes threats of thin plastic 

This was revealed by the spokesperson of  Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPPC) Commodius Nyirenda and  MPCC Co-Chair Alex Meja during a news conference that took place in Lilongwe.

Findings from an independent assessment commissioned by the Malawi government with support from UNDP and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust also unearthed negative social, environmental and economic impacts of plastics pollution.

According to Meja and Nyirenda, an estimated 75  000 tons of plastic is currently produced in Malawi each year, of which 80 per cent is single useplastic that cannot be recycled.

It was also revealed during the meeting that  plastic production has roughly doubled globally in the past 30 years with 3000 million tons of plastic waste being produced every year, almost equivalent to the weight of the entire human population.

Said Nyirenda: “The evidence is crystal clear. If thin plastics use continues unabated we can expect degraded soils, reduced fish stocks, worsening crop yields, increased floods, declining human health and losses in tourism revenue.”

Nyirenda then called on Malawians to desist using thin plastics because they are not easily degradable and end up in our rivers and eventually lakes.

“There is evidence that fish is failing to multiply because of the presence of plastics in Lake Malawi which is sometimes ingested unknowingly and affects spawning. If we are not pro-active even the tourism sector will be negatively affected since tourists come to see rare species of fish that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,’ said Nyirenda.

Nyirenda added that if the fish in Lake Malawi dwindles then millions if not thousands of fishers along the lake will have their livelihood completely compromised as they will have nothing to do.

Meja concurred with Nyirenda that by 2050 negative effects of plastics will reverberate across the country as many people especially fishers in Lake Malawi will be toiling in vain.

Professor Sosten Chiotha, who is the Regional Director for Leadership for Environmental Development, explained in an interview  with Nyasa Times that the presence of thin plastic bags is of huge concern to everybody because they affect nature.

Chiotha disclosed that recently his organization engaged Malawi army divers to collect trash in Lake Malawi and the soldiers ended up collecting moreplastics.

“We have evidence that some fish if you dissect them they have plastics in their gut. This is dangerous and affects reproduction systems of the fish. Even then quality of water if we persist using thin plastics will be compromised and eventually we lose revenue from tourism as the Lake will no longer be attractive,” he added.

Spokesperson for Lilongwe Wildlife Trust Elaine Hake whose organization works to protect Malawi’s biodiversity for the benefit of the nation and wildlife also called for drastic action on those still producing thin plastics.

“Thin plastics are a danger that we need to do away with, the sooner the better. As LWT we have been appointed by government to administer a number of national wildlife trade, deforestation,  justice and advocacy initiatives. In collaboration with local and international partners, LWT responds to urgent conservation challenges as well as drive long term social and institutional change across a number of areas including illegal wildlife trade, deforestation and plastic solution,” explained Hake.

Portfolio Manager for Resilience and  Sustainable Growth at  UNDP Andrew Spezowka said tackling plastic pollution is crucial to achieveing sustainable development and that is the reason why this issue is woven into the UN’s sustainable development goals.

“The government of Malawi has demonstrated its progressive approach to environmental protection by banning thin plastics in 2014 and we welcome Malawi joining the growing number of countries across Africa that are tackling plastic pollution and upholding a common vision for a cleaner, safer and more prosperous future,” he said.

The international community have recognized the urgency and gravity of the matter and as of March 2019, lightweight plastics have been introduced in 62 countries.

Last month the European Union voted to ban single-use plastics across Europe by 2021.

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Achiswe.
Guest

This issue should override politics, elections and backstabbing. It is an issue that affects us all, together with out descendants. The future health and well being of our country is at stake. Each and every one of us needs to take notice and act upon it; Politicians of all parties and persuasions must make it a priority to reduce and eventually remove the use of thin plastics altogether. Please let us all be united in fighting this threat to our future.

Opportunist
Guest
Opportunist

Why can’t you just ban thin plastic

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

A Kalyoto You Talk as if You Don’t know that those Tax Evaders ,Corrupt Deal getters Macra ,MDF ,Local Govt,poor road constructors ,Suspected Chasowa Murders,Sat on Your Angel not to Give Positions To Anyone- Until 2am in the morning… Threatening to Quit …Mkuoona Anali Ndwii kupereka Ma Nominations Kuja.Ziwomberani Mfiti mmanja Choncho…

Favour of Yahweh
Guest

This is one peace of reports that we have been missing in our country . Let us share the dangers that our actions possess to the environment. Malawi used to have good fishes but some disappeared, no longer there. For example Sawasawa. Utaka, kadyakolo, micheni,bombe, mpatsa and many more, gone, or reduced in stocks. No fish farming is promoted even in parliament, nothing is being discussed apart from your allowances Mr Nyirenda. We should have encouraged people to go on fish farming, and also educate the people of the dangers of plastics especially in our lake shore areas. Look atChia,… Read more »

Chemjambe
Guest
Chemjambe

Then some stupid lawyers out there defending amwenye opanga thin plastics with foolish injunctions….love your country guys, this your home regardless of money.
What about your future generations?

Eish I really cry for my beloved country Malawi

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

Research conducted by the National University of Ireland established that plastic particles have also been found in almost three in four deep sea fish. The researchers did their research during transatlantic crossing collecting dead sea fish from trawls. About 73 percent of the fish taken at a depth of 600 metres were found to have ingested plastics. Generally, inflammation of intestines reduce feeding in fish which lead to their dying. For a fish that has ingested plastics and is caught for consumption, the toxic particles pass to humans through food chain. In Malawi, the plastic industry is still the only… Read more »

President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
Guest
President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

What does this tell us strategically. Invest more in oil exploration

JCInLA
Guest
JCInLA

Just another hungry and greedy mfcker disguisde as a Malawian.
No., we Lake Malawians love our lake. Its our life. Keep you oil ideas to yourselves. This is our home. Our only home.

KALYOTO
Guest
KALYOTO

MCP PP KACHALI NDI CHI TCHENI CHA ZOPUSA. kubakila mbava instead of campaigning. kkl. m’busa wagwera mu msampha. Chilima is a real deal. he kicked JB and her nyusense soon after she praised him on BBC. kkkk Lazaro ntchito yopanga defend ma cashgaters uli nayo aise…..yet you say you will fight corruption. kkkkkkkk

Victor Mdzinyemba.
Guest
Victor Mdzinyemba.

How does the issue under discussion in this article become a politically to enable some misguided elements accuse MCP and it’s leadership plus their electrol partners? People should learn to grasp what the contents and refrain from misplaced comments just for the sake of commenting. This only underlines the natural hatred that prevails amongst Malawians which in-turn retards development. If you have no comment just keep quite other than exposing your stupidity by your irresponsible comments.

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

True indeed. Hard to deduce why a political party and its leadership is coming in. Could be that some people in some quarters have had their mind contaminated with politics such that it is impossible for them to contribute meaningful ideas on issues raised on the article which is about plastic that is poising a danger to various species fish in Lake Malawi.

Agenda Setting Theory
Guest
Agenda Setting Theory

You have got your party to support let those who support the triple alliance do so tili ndiufulu. Even Jesus visited the house of Zakeyu and chatted with prositutes.

Gas Machine Head
Guest
Gas Machine Head

Is this related to the story above? Or perhaps you have no idea about online media interactivity and that works?

Mlakaviwa
Guest
Mlakaviwa

Kalyoto you must be a serious idiot. The issue is not politics but survival of the fish in Lake Malawi

Achapwere 1
Guest
Achapwere 1

any connection with damping plastics?

Kaitano
Guest
Kaitano

Kikikkkk mwasuta kwambiri lero eti? Zalembedwa apa zachokela pati tsopano? I feel your pain

Vinthumfumbenge
Guest
Vinthumfumbenge

Kodi khani ili apa ndiya Chakwera kapena yamapulasitiki?

Mika Kunda
Guest
Mika Kunda

Iwe ndiwe wa UTM, mukuwopa chani nanga..pathako pako wamva ? campaign your party..you cant win by mare intimidations..Malawians will never be forced to decide your way..pamusundu pako. Chilima will come third in these election