Chapter 5: Actions to address Environmental Issues

Actions to address Environmental Issues

5.5 Depletion of fish resources

5.5.1. Destruction of fish breeding grounds Reduce sediment load in both river and lake water

(see sections 5.2 and 5.3). Combat water pollution

(see section 5.4).

In addition, the Government through the DLV in collaboration with chiefs and local authorities, will zone the entire lake shore area, demarcate and designate specific areas for establishment of tourist infrastructure to minimize destruction of breeding grounds. Improve information on fish species, fish stocks and regeneration capacities

The Government through the Department of Fisheries (FD) and the University will:

  1. identify priority areas for specific studies (taxonomic studies for instance) facilitating information gathering on fish species, stocks and regeneration and research; and
  2. will facilitate the establishment of information dissemination to areas of need through pamphlets, publications, video shows and news media to sensitise the general public on importance of fishery management. Halt spreading of non-indigenous fish and weeds

The Government through:

  1. the MFNR in collaboration with DOI will enforce the control of importation of fish and weeds;
  2. DOF and DOW will raise public awareness on the dangers of introducing certain ornamental water plants; and
  3. DOF and WRB will undertake the eradication of obnoxious weeds. Increase local knowledge on fish breeding and biology in general

The Government through the FD in collaboration with the local authorities (Chiefs, DDCs and VDCs), will initiate a public information campaign on the importance of rivers, lakes and wetland for fish breeding in order to sensitise the public on the need to conserve fish breeding grounds so as to facilitate sustainable supply of fish.

5.5.2 Over-fishing Control and monitor number of current fishermen and those entering the fishing industry

The Chiefs and local communities on their own will develop a local-policing method to monitor and curtail illegal fishing.

The Government through the FD will:

  1. improve the control of issuance of fishing licences to reduce or limit fishermen so that over-fishing is prevented;
  2. employ more patrol guards with improved working conditions and incentives, to monitor number of fishermen and apprehend the offenders; and
  3. promote alternative forms of income. generation at secondary and tertiary levels. Halt use of non-sustainable fishing technology

The Chiefs and local communities will create sustainable local mechanisms designed to monitor and reporting to the law enforcers on individuals flaunting the laws and regulations.

The Government through:

  1. MOJ in collaboration with MFNR will review current Fishery legislation to ensure enforcement against use of inappropriate fishing technology;
  2. FD will conduct more frequent inspections of fishing nets and impound all illegal nets and punish offenders accordingly. Enforce 'off-season' regulation

(See section Promote Fish Farming Technology

The Government through the DAET and FD will encourage fish farming using indigenous fish species and promote better management of fish farming, using necessary institutional and incentive framework.

5.5.3 Obstruction of fish migration in rivers Reduce sediment load in rivers and halt use of non-sustainable fishing practices

(See sections 5.2, 5.3 and

5.6 Threat to biodiversity

5.6.1 High population growth

(see section 5.9 ).

5.6.2 habitat loss Control of agricultural expansion

The Government of Malawi through the MOA will control agricultural expansion by:

(a) Promoting intensive agricultural production; and
(b) Promoting sustainable agriculture. Halt encroachment into protected areas

The MFNR will:

  1. heighten public awareness and concern on the value of biological resources in protected areas; and
  2. strictly enforce legislation concerning protected areas. Disruption of important, fragile but unprotected ecosystems

The MFNR in collaboration with National Herbarium and Botanical Gardens of Malawi (NHBGM) will:

  1. delineate and protect fragile areas;
  2. promote research and establish monitoring systems on fragile areas and ecosystems;
  3. conduct environmental impact assessment (EIA) wherever development projects may affect fragile ecosystems;
  4. improve wetland management;
  5. identify and protect breeding grounds for fish. Stop bush fires

(see section 5.1). Promote the diversification of the country's economy

(see section Address low agricultural productivity
(see sections 5.2.1, 5.2.2 and 5.2.3). Prevent loss of land races

The Government will:

  1. through MOA promote in-situ genetic conservation. and the establish of local seed companies; and
  2. through DREA and in collaboration with other Departments implement the international Biological Convention to which it has acceded. Empower local leaders in Biodiversity Conservation 

The Government through the MFNR in collaboration with District Administration will:

  1. affirm peoples local rights; and
  2. give local communities the authority, power and knowledge to act so as to care for their environment and to participate in the management of protected areas.
5.6.3 Policy failures Diversification of the economy

(see section 4.3.1). Improve low agricultural productivity

(see section 4.3.1). Reduce loss of land races

The Government through:

  1. the MFNR will affirm local peoples rights over the surrounding environment; and
  2. DREA and other departments will implement the Bio-diversity Convention. Involve local leaders in Bio-diversity Conservation 

(See section

5.6.4 Illegal exploitation of forestry and wildlife resources Eliminate poaching 

The Government through the MFNR will:

  1. promote controlled game hunting and farming; 
  2. involve local communities in forest and wildlife management; and
  3. intensify law enforcement activities and review penalties. Legalize access to protected areas

The Government through the MFNR will:

  1. compensate communities for the loss of access to reserves by providing them with work as guards and other incentives; and
  2. promote sustainable resource extraction from the protected areas.
5.6.5 Loss of fresh water big-diversity

(see section 5.5).

5.7. Human habitat degradation

5.7.1 Planning and provision of housing and basic services Promote low cost housing scheme in both urban and rural areas

The Government, through the Department of Housing and Physical Planning, will:

  1. expand the existing low cost housing scheme to rural areas and Traditional Housing Areas (THAs) in urban areas; and
  2. strengthen the planning capacities of Local Authorities by training more planners. Speed up allocation of plots for both traditional housing areas and medium to low density areas

The Local Authorities will provide THAs with site and services plots to enable the rural poor to acquire housing plots. Review development charges to create incentive framework for plot development and provide basic services to facilitate speedy plot development

The Government, through the DLV, will continue development and allocation of medium and low density residential plots without raising the charges beyond reasonable and affordable levels. Review ground and property rents

The Government, through the DLV, will:

  1. strengthen enforcement of covenants for building on plots to avoid wasting available land; and
  2. review ground rentals of all organisation in favour of creating affordability to different groups of plot seekers.
5.7.2 Water supply Improve provision of water supply

The Government, through the DOW and Water Boards, will:

  1. identify potential water sources and provide treated water to the urban population;
  2. expand provision of boreholes, gravity fed water schemes, shallow and protected wells to the rural communities;
  3. rehabilitate non-functioning piped water systems and boreholes; and
  4. continue to train local communities on proper maintenance of tap water stands and boreholes;
  5. carry out regular assessment of the degree of contamination of water resources by agrochemical run-offs, domestic and industrial waste.
5.7.3 Waste disposal

(see sections. 4.2).

In addition, the Government will introduce incentives to persuade people and industries to comply with the laws and regulations.

5.7.4 Occupational health hazards Improve knowledge of workers' exposure to hazardous work environment

The Government through the MOLMD will enable the Industrial Hygiene Unit to develop a system for quantification and periodic monitoring of exposure to environmental hazards in industries. Strengthen inspections of hazardous work environments

The Government through the MOLMD will strengthen the capacity of its Factories Inspectorate Department to:

  1. carry out inspections of factory premises;
  2. advise employers on how to minimise workers' exposure and improve the work environment.

5.8 High population growth

5.8.1 High fertility rate Promote and intensify female education

Chiefs and local authorities will discourage parents from discriminating against female education and encourage the girls to attend school.

The Government through:

  1. MCIT in collaboration with ABA and NABW will promote increased employment opportunities for women.
  2. MOEST will:
    1. continue to implement deliberate policy to facilitate enhanced access to education for all girls.
    2. reorient its policy to readmit girls who leave school due to pregnancies. Introduce population and family life education into the regular curriculum at all levels of education

Chiefs and local communities will encourage parents to educate their children on morality. The Government through MOEST will introduce population and family life as an examinable subject in schools at all levels. Increase the general literacy rates

The Government through: 

  1. Ministry of Community Services (MOCS) will continue with functional adult literacy programmes and provide both males and females reading materials to graduate.
  2. MOEST will:
    1. abolish primary school fees;
    2. introduce village primary and junior secondary schools;
    3. introduce gender-sensitive curriculum at primary and secondary levels.
  1. MOEST and National Library Services (NLS) will establish district and mobile library services to cater for rural areas. Empowerment of women in decision-making

The Government will, through:

(a) Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MOWCA) raise public awareness of women's rights in decisions affecting the size of the family.
(b) MOJ enact legislation to enforce observance of women's rights. Promote population and family planning programmes
(a) Chiefs and local communities, in collaboration with the MOCS, will raise public awareness and popularise use of contraceptives technology by assisting in their distribution.

(b) the Chiefs and local communities and parents will strive to combat traditional beliefs and customs which impede adoption of child spacing technology.

(c) The Government through MOHEA and MOCS will co-ordinate their efforts to intensify promotion of population IEC and dissemination of information on issues of sex and reproductive health through distribution of pamphlets and booklets targeting men.

(e) Government will initiate debate on optimum family size. Control unplanned, unwanted and pregnancies

(a) Traditional leaders will raise public awareness against the consequences of teen age pregnancies, early and premature marriages and having many children.

The Government through:

(b) MOJ will review current legislation on child abuse and raise penalties against men responsible for teenage pregnancies;

(c) community and religious leaders will sensitise the public to raise first child bearing age to 18 years.

5.8.2 Child and infant mortality Promote intensive health care education focused on malaria and waterborne diseases

(a) The Government through MOHEA and MOCS will intensify dissemination of information on prevention of malaria and waterborne diseases.

(b) The Chiefs and local communities, in collaboration with MOHEA and LAs will intensify dissemination of information to raise public awareness on the need for the prevention of malaria and waterborne diseases. Improve curative medical services for both underfives and above

The Government through MOHEA will enhance the supply for curative drugs for malaria and waterborne diseases and strengthen local district hospitals through increased staff and equipment.

5.8.3 Immigration and migration Control of immigration

The Government, through MOJ in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), will review the current immigration laws and ensure a more controlled system of immigration of asylum seekers. Create rural off-farm employment opportunities

(see section

5.9 Air pollution

5.9.1 Gas emissions from the transport sector Reduce gas emissions from transport sector

The Government through:

(a) the MTC and the Police will enforce provisions in the traffic act on smoky vehicles and introduce more punitive measures against offenders;

(b) the MTC and the Customs and Excise will promote the importation of cars with catalytic converters by imposing lower customs duties;

(c) MCIT will impose measures to empower the Department of Customs and Excise to discourage the importation of dilapidated cars into Malawi.

5.9.2 Emission of pollutants and particulate matter from industries and mines. Improve ambient air quality in industrial establishments

The Government through the MOLMD will:

(a) make it compulsory for industries to introduce scrubbers in the gas stack and increased the height of the stack and define standard stack height; and

(b) promote research on the impact of industrial establishments on the health and general welfare of surrounding communities and from the results recommend appropriate remedial measures. Improve air quality in the work environment

The government through MOLMD

(a) will ensure that workers in hazardous industries/workplace are furnished with appropriate protective clothing e.g. breathing muffs, hand gloves, overalls e.t.c. and undergo pre-employment medical examinations and thereafter attend regular examinations.

(b) and Malawi Bureau of Standards will set standards on air quality in the work environment and ensure that companies meet them.

5.9.3 Bush Fires Discourage deliberate bush fires

The Government through DREA will:

(a) create public awareness on the dangers of bush fires.
(b) initiate research into the proper management of forests.
5.9.4 Air pollution Control air pollution

The government through various Ministries and Departments will:

(a) invest in air monitoring equipment to be manned by Meteorological Department for atmospheric pollution monitoring;

(b) introduce car exhaust air quality monitoring to ensure that only vehicles with fuel efficient engines are on the roads;

(c) minimise odour nuisance by ensuring that relevant organisations take precautionary measures;

(d) ensure that buildings are properly ventilated; and

(c) discourage people from burning tyres, plastics and household waste and if necessary legislate.

5.10 Environmental education and public information

5.10.1 Environmental information centres Establish environmental information centres

The Government, through the DREA, National Library Service (NLS) and appropriate NGOs, will:

(a) develop local environmental information centres which will cater for the provision of information to researchers, scientists, decision makers at all levels, development workers and the rural communities;

(b) promote the sharing of resources through national networking in order to strengthen institutions in environmental programmes;

(c) develop links with International Environmental Systems such as INFOTERRA, GEMS, and others;

(d) consolidate, analyze, repackage and publish data and information from computer network operations at ministerial and departmental and non-governmental organisations levels regarding a variety of parameters indicative of environmental trends in Malawi;

(e) improve communication patterns with communities and various organisations and other countries, in order to explore ways of promoting sustainability and self-reliance of projects.

5.10.2 Environmental education Enhance environmental subjects in the regular curriculum.

The Government, through the MOEST and DREA and appropriate NGOs, will:

(a) introduce environmental subjects, at all levels of education and be examinable;

(b) initiate self-reliance in the development of teaching, learning and promotional materials, about the environment;

(c) strengthen the development of human resources in environment through educational activities supported by environmental projects or programmes; and

(d) promote research on environmental issues through private and public institutions as well as non-governmental organisations. Disseminate public information and raise awareness on environment 

The Government through DREA, MOA , and MFNR will: 

(a) create awareness and sensitise the communities about environmental issues through:
(i) production of radio and visual messages;
(ii) production of teaching and learning materials;
(iii) development and dissemination of easy to read instructional materials; and
(iv) information campaigns by use of mobile films
or video vans.
(b) orient extension services to promote effective dissemination of information concerning environment to the rural sectors;

(c) develop an effective method for disseminating research results about environmental issues to the public; and

(d) promote and encourage exchange visits, competitions and other public campaigns about environmental issues. 


Contents | Foreword | Acknowledgments 
Chapters:  | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven
Lists: | Figures | Maps | Tables | Appendices