The lake of Malawi is the third biggest of Africa. It has an extension of 600 kms. and it is also bordered by Tanzania and Mozambique. I wanted to know it…and skirting great part of their coast I went to Nkata Bay, from where I crossed to the Likoma Island.
People that live on the lake have it present in all their activities and necessities: they use it to water their cultivations, they drink its water, they wash their clothes in it, they move for their waters and they acquire the most valuable thing from it: the food. For them the lake is their life.
As I went advancing for different villages of fishermen, their people told me the main problems of the lake.
Abudo, a 35 years old man with only two children – which differentiated him between the rest of the people -, told me that the fishing of the biggest fish had diminished. In consequence, the fishermen were forced to look for smaller preys that are more abundant, but with them they finished capturing many exemplary youths of the big species. This way, and without wanting it, themselves hurried even more the decline of the species of more size.
The over fishing in the lake is a problem that grows next to the population and to the pollution that it generates. Besides, some corporations export their contamination to neighbouring countries.
According to Abudo, the government tries to combat the problem of the over fishing putting restrictions during certain months of the year to protect the fish in the breeding station, but many of the fishermen don’t always understand the government politics of conservation since they are forced to respond to their more immediate necessities.
The Likoma Island – km 18,510
Likoma is a small island that belongs to Malawi. Their extension is of 8 km long and 6 km wide and it is in front of Mozambique. Their population is approximately 6000 inhabitants and much of its people have never left it.
The island has a dry vegetation and it is very rocky, for what it has not too much cultivation. A great ship navigates along the lake, arriving twice per week at the island to supply it. With the ship, tourists coming from all the world also arrive, in search of paradisiacal places to rest.
Likoma was the last point of Malawi that I visited, after returning from Zambia, since my route will continue again toward Mozambique, for where I will enter Tanzania. I was only a couple of days enjoying the beaches that have a particularity: they are not replete of palms but of countless baobabs, reason for which the houses are manufactured with bricks of mud that they make with their hands, instead of making them of straw like I had already seen along the other countries during my journey.