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Petition on World Heritage Site threat

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A petition has been served as regards the threat to one of the country’s World Heritage Site on Lake Malawi.

The petition, which is on change.org and has been trending on creative platforms, reads: “A world heritage site on Lake Malawi is under threat and needs your support now”.

The petition, started by Malaika Sacranie, had seen over 600 people sign as of Monday.

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The message has been placed as an urgent notice claiming that Southern Region Water Board is about to blast and destroy one of the most pristine parts of the Lake Malawi National Park’s Unesco World Heritage Site on Namaso/Nkudzi Mountain to install a water reservoir to supply Mangochi and Monkey Bay.

The petition further says the inlet and their camp is at an advanced stage in Nkudzi Bay. Now the chosen site to place the reservoir is as illustrated in the image

“If this project is allowed to proceed in this location, it would destroy the most unspoilt area with the biggest trees, the last refuge for wildlife in the Lake Malawi National Park and an area with historical ancient rock paintings from the San Bushmen time”, the message reads.

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It says that the project will also cause erosion, flooding, mudslides and the possible permanent siltation of Namaso Bay and that this would affect recreation, existing water supply and create a dead marine environment with no fish where bilharzia and other waterborne diseases will proliferate.

It says that certain species of Mbuna are only found in these waters off Nkudzi point and nowhere else in the world and that the area also has the highest density of African fish eagles in the world.

The message also says there will be a higher amount of traffic and an increase in poaching cases in Namaso can be expected, not to mention the sound pollution and numerous other negative impacts.

Director of Museums and Monuments in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Lovemore Mazibuko said Monday he was not aware of the project.

“This issue was brought to our attention through social media and we are getting in touch with Southern Region Water Board but we are not aware of this project. They are supposed to conduct an environmental assessment but we will connect with them and make our position clear,” Mazibuko said.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi said recently that his ministry was in a drive of reviving all historical sites and monuments as well as protecting them.

A report which The Daily Times has seen indicates that Southern Region Water Board conducted an environmental and social impact assessment for the extension of Mangochi Potable Water Supply Project.

The consultant, Water Waste and Environment, identified a number of adverse impacts following this project including solid waste generation and increased pollution.

Spokesperson Ritta Makwangwala said:

“Before starting any other project, we do an environmental assessment impact, we are meeting the petitioner”.

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