Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest lake, provides an economic lifeline to many fishing families. But overfishing is affecting many of these lives, with women being affected the most.
Lloyd Phiri, a fisherman from Senga Bay on Lake Malawi’s shores in Malawi’s central region, knows that the lake’s water levels are dropping. He can see it in his catch, which has shrunk by more than 80 percent in recent years.
The local Tanzanian community bordering Lake Nyasa is no nearer to understanding what the conflict between their country and Malawi is about, nor why so much is at stake, as mediation efforts between Malawi and Tanzania are expected to begin soon.
Over two million families who solely depend on Lake Malawi for their livelihoods are anxiously putting their hopes into an upcoming mediation between Malawi and Tanzania intended to put an end to a longstanding ownership dispute.
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.