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Climate Change: Drying lake, a graveyard of boats

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Lake Chilwa in Zomba is a source of livelihood for many people in the surrounding areas and beyond.

It is Malawi’s second biggest lake. But in times of drought, it shrinks perceptibly. Between 1968 and 1996, the inland lake dried up, says Willard Makwana, a local resident born and bred in the area.

Makwana, a Head Teacher at Kachulu Primary School, a few meters away from the lake, witnessed both sad occasions when the lake dried up

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Now he fears that the same thing may happen again because the water in lake is getting lower and lower.

The shores that used to be filled with water are now a grave yard of boats which are no longer in use due to lack of business.

Transport and fishing business used to flourish when water levels were high in the lake.

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But now it’s shallow, the deepest area is about one meter, according to Makwana.

Boniface Mangwiro, a transporter who joined the business in 2016, says he used to make K10,000 a day from his boat.

But now he makes K2,000 on a good day. All this is attributed to climate change due the wanton cutting of trees around the lake.

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