Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an African Great Lake located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa and home to more species of fish than any other lake. The lakeshore people, particularly those in landlocked Malawi, rely on the lake for water, transport, recreation, electricity, irrigation, and most importantly, fish. Pollution and overfishing pose major threats to Malawi’s valuable resource, Lake Malawi resulting in environmental degradation through the loss of species in the Lake.
Save Lake Malawi Project uses solutions for consideration include education and training, appropriate fish management techniques, conservational agriculture, catchment area management, and poverty reduction through economic and social development and human population control programs. All these efforts and success of these strategies heavily depend on the health of all stakeholders and more specifically, their nutrition status which is highly attributed to animal (fish) protein intake.
Artists Project Earth (APE) is helping the Save Lake Malawi Project and aims to expand its student curricula and community engagement to include Lake Malawi conservation through Save Lake Malawi Project. This project runs from January to December 2016.
Save Lake Malawi Project Objectives
- To increase awareness among tourists, students, parents and communities through
informational communication materials and informal trainings
- To support primary schools with materials that will increase students’ knowledge about conservation and management of Lake Malawi and wildlife.
- To ensure a clean and tidy environment along Lake Malawi by discouraging use of plastic bottles and bags along the Lake beaches in order to reduce impacts of pollution.
- To reduce dropout rates from 13.7% to not more than 5% in grades I to 7 and to less than I0% in grade 8 at primary level; and reduce dropout rate from the current 14.9% to not more than 5% at secondary level.
- The project shall stress the need for ensuring that Malawi’s education system does not intensify existing inequalities across social groups and regions.
- The project aims at improving the participation of girls and women, children with special needs and other disadvantaged youths and that of rural communities at all levels of the education system. At the primary and secondary levels the intention is to increase female participation to at least 52% of the total enrolment.
Achievements Made So Far
MDM Community Education Centre electrification: MDM Community Centre which was named after three Mvuu Camp guides, Mathews, Dinara and Mike, the co-founders of Nanthomba School alongside Jillian Holstein was
in 2014 with funding from Finelli Architectural Iron & Stairs (USA) and was electrified this year 2016 with funding from APE. The Centre aims at providing space for afterschool activities, school events and community meetings. It was also intended to be used for making slide and video presentations about Lake Malawi and wildlife conservation, other life skills and educational topics.
Visits to Lake Malawi National Park and CISER
Lake Malawi National Park and Community Initiative for Self Reliance (CISER) were visited in Mangochi for needs assessment and establishment of partnerships for Save Lake Malawi Project.
Procurement of Projector and PA System
In order to increase awareness among students and parents (communities) one Sinotec LED Projector, UltraLink Professional Projector Screen on Tripond Stand, and public address system (PA System) which includes Hybrid Professional Speaker System, Hybrid SC8220P Professional Powered Compact Mixer and Hoyan Servo Motor Control – AC Automatic Voltage Regulator were procured.
Primary schools supported with conservation materials
Apart from the projector and PA system, extra curricula materials and videos were supplied to Nanthomba School in order to increase students’ knowledge about conservation and management of Lake Malawi and wildlife.
Awareness meeting and informal trainings
Using the projector and the PA system, awareness meetings and informal trainings among students, parents and community members were conducted. Big screen movies were shown to enhance learning. 4500 peopleparticipated.
Plans for the next half of 2016
- Print and distribute brochures about conservation of Lake Malawi and its wildlife
- Solicit more videos and conservation materials
- Conduct 10 big screen video shows to reach 20,000 people
- Complete oversight by School Management Committee