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Lake Malawi exposing ships to damages

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Government has challenged the Malawi Shipping Company (MSC) to find means of overcoming the environmental challenges, which the company says are affecting some of its operations.

Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango made the remarks on Friday when he visited MSC’s base in Monkey Bay to appreciate some of the company’s operations under the Malawi government concession.

During the tour, MSC officials expressed concern that the unprecedented low levels of water in Lake Malawi are proving to be a challenge for the water transport sector, saying the situation is exposing ships to damage by rocks

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While acknowledging the challenge, Mhango said there is need for MSC to venture into shipping operations that respond to the emerging challenges, indicating that the low water levels that Lake Malawi has recorded this year are as a result of human’s unsustainable ways of dealing with nature.

“Let me request you to explore ways of overcoming these challenges by, among other things, procuring vessels that can load and offload cargo anywhere disregarding the water levels,” said Mhango.

The minister also explained that government is currently exploring ways of attracting more players in the water transport sector in order to make the industry competitive and attractive so that local people can benefit from this cheaper mode of transport.

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MSC Shipping Consultant, Austin Msowoya, expressed satisfaction with the support which MSC is receiving from government and the local people, describing it as a motivation for the MSC to start thinking of expanding its operations.

He revealed that MSC is, this week expected to start rehabilitating the MV Chilembwe which developed a fault some two months ago.

“Rehabilitation for MV Chilembwe was delayed due to the delay by our insurers who were doing their assessment. However, I am happy to say that we have done the assessment and we expect to spend about K12 million to finish the rehabilitations, which will take three weeks,” said Msowoya.

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