First, there is the location which will be at the center for this prospecting for oil: Lake Malawi. Pristine, wonderful, fantastic, very scenic, still unspoiled the third largest fresh-water lake in Africa and it's a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fresh water lake, is rich in fish (about 1,000 species of endemic fish) which is a major food resource for the locals around it; and it also provides livelihood for thousands of fishermen. Prospecting for oil in and around the lake, will undoubtedly disturb or even disrupt this fishing industry. Oil prospecting and drilling, always leads to environmental problems; should oil be found in or around it, there is great danger, that the lake will be polluted and its rich resources damaged. Should there be oil, there is no doubt that the local people's lives, around the lake, will be disturbed; the fishermen will have restrictions on places they can fish in and some places will be out of bounds for them.
|Lake Malawi Map|
If Malawi has oil, wherever it is - it has no alternative but to drill for it. Its present very dire economic situation and too much dependency on foreign aid, dictates that. If oil is discovered, it doesn't have to be unrewarding and destructive as it has been in other African countries. With wisely and properly managing it, oil can be a life saver and the best thing that has happened to this small country of one of the friendliest people in Africa. Malawi can (it needs to) learn from countries such as Norway and the Gulf States of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, on how to turn this valuable resource in to a great blessing and benefit for its people.