The Southern Africa Water Wire

Lake Malawi Dispute Instils Fear in Fisherfolk

Since he was nine years old, Martin Mhango from Karonga village in northern Malawi has known no other livelihood than fishing. And for the last 33 years he has been fishing freely on Lake Malawi – that is, until last October when he was detained and beaten by Tanzanian security forces.



Water, Water Everywhere – and No Early Warning in Sight

Muzeka Muyeyekwa from Mapfekera Village in Zimbabwe’s  Manicaland Province wonders what he will feed his three children for lunch.

Turning on Taps a Risky Business in Zimbabwe

For three weeks Tavonga Kwidini and his wife Maria had no tap water in their home in Glen View, one of the many dry suburbs in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

A River Runs Dry in Tanzania

Avelina Elias Mkenda, a 52-year-old small-scale farmer in the Mbarali district of Tanzania’s southwestern Mbeya region, can sense a change in her environment.

Curbing Tanzania’s “Land Grabbing Race”

From January 2013, Tanzania will start restricting the size of land that single large-scale foreign and local investors can “lease” for agricultural use. The decision follows both local and international criticism that major investors are grabbing large chunks of land here, often displacing small-scale farmers and local communities.

Q&A: Making Toilets Fashionable

When the founder of the World Toilet Organisation Jack Sim turned 40, he literally began counting how many more days he had to live and felt a sense of urgency to do meaningful things with the remainder of his life.

Nile Powers Uganda Slowly

Uganda is facing the unwelcome possibility of increased costs for building a projected 600-megawatt hydropower plant at the Karuma Falls, on the Victoria Nile, owing to construction delays.

Water in DRC More Often Cause of Death than Source of Life

Despite the desperate lack of access to water for domestic use in Mwene Ditu, in the central Democratic Republic of Congo, Dieudonné Ilunga spent a good part of July blocking up residents' wells.

Improving the efficiency of small pumps could contribute to making irrigation viable for smallholder farmers. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

Q&A: Smallholder Farmers Driving New Trend Against Climate Change

Small-scale irrigation schemes can provide the biggest opportunity for boosting food security in Africa, according to Meredith Giordano, the research director at the International Water Management Institute.

Livelihoods Drying Up on Malawi’s Lake Chilwa

Fisherfolk and farmers living near Malawi’s second-largest water body, Lake Chilwa, are relocating en masse and scrambling for space around its shores as the lake has dried to dangerously low levels.

Waste Not, Want Not – Providing for South Africa’s Food Security

As South Africa grapples with reducing its sanitation backlog, scientists seem to have found a way to reduce the build up while simultaneously combatting the country’s food insecurity. The solution? Safely using human waste as fertiliser.

ZAMCOM hopes to establish environmental flows on the Zambezi. Credit: Johannes Myburgh/IPS

Establishing Environmental Flows in the Zambezi

When Jose Chiburre was a boy growing up in Mozambique, he would often challenge his friends to a swim across the Incomati River. That was in the 1970s, when the river was 300 metres wide in the dry season: today, the race would be over before it begins.

Water Knows No Border Between Angola and Namibia

A transboundary initiative aimed at providing clean drinking water and proper sanitation between Angola and Namibia is making steady progress.

Rural Zambia’s Drinking Supply Fraught with Danger and Disease

Bupe Bana-Victor has lived in the Mwense district of Luapula Province in northern Zambia all her life. And for her, water talk is synonymous with the Luapula River, which lies just 20 metres from her village and snakes through the entire region before it joins the Lualaba River – a tributary of the mighty Congo, Africa’s second-largest river.

Malawi Turns to Mozambique for Power

On-again, off-again… it's the story of both Malawi's power supply and the interconnection project that could end blackouts with power imported from neighbouring Mozambique.

Sharing Southern Africa’s Water

The Southern African Development Community's protocol on shared watercourses is recognised as one of the world's best. But sound agreements on the sustainable and equitable management of joint water resources require effective means to implement them.

Female subsistence farmers, who form more than 70 percent of farmers on the continent, remain clueless about climate change issues.  Credit: Busani Bafana

Nothing to Show for Hard Work but Burnt Fields of Maize

Gertrude Mkoloi earns a living harvesting maize on a small piece of land in rural Zimbabwe. Or at least she used to.

Decreasing water levels in the local Lunkhwakwa River have created an opportunity for theenterprising women of Genda to start fishing. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo

While Men Go Drinking, Women Go Fishing

Climate change may have led to declining water levels in Genda Village in Zambia’s Eastern Province, but Mercy Mwanza and the women here discovered there was a positive side to it and found a new way to earn a living.

More rain expected in Southern Africa

Southern Africa has had more than its average rainfall since November of 2011 and forecasters are predicting even more rain until the end of March. But, as Tinus de Jager reports, it seems as if this rain is not benefitting the smaller farmers of the region.

SOUTH AFRICA: Rural School Running on Methane Bio-Gas

Tucked against the rolling hills of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, a small rural school has been turning its kitchen scraps, and agricultural and human waste into methane gas for cooking, and nutrient-rich fertiliser, and is even recycling its water.

Rapid urbanisation in South Africa is affecting the water quality of the river systems.

Rapid urbanisation in South Africa is affecting the water quality of the river systems.

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