BASIC INFORMATION ON PROJECT AREA

Area km sq. (%) Area Km sq.

Wetland High Lake LevelLow Lake Level

Open water 1,054 (45%) 678 lake level

Typha swamp 640 (27.5%) 699 (28.5%)

Marsh 163 (7%) 300 (13%)

Flood plain grassland 220 (9.5%) 430 (8.5%)

Sub-total 2,077 2,077

Wetland rice 114 (4.9%)

Irrigated rice 29 (1.2%)

Dimba 90 (3.9%)

Sub-total 233 (10.3%)

Malawi 5,669 sq. km (68%)

Mozambique 2,680 sq. km (32%)

Sub-total 8,349 sq. km Water temperature 20 39 degrees celsius

Water volume 1,017,000,000 2,635,000,000 cubic metres

Water depth max 5m

Water depth average 1.5 2.5 m

Water quality; salinity 1 2 o/oo up to 12 o/oo during minor recessions

Lake without an outlet

Fisheries species 3

Total number of species 27

Average annual fish yield: 17,000 tonnes

Average value of fishery: 15 million USD

Total number of fishermen: approx. 6,000

Total recorded species: 161

Number of Palearctic migrant species 41

Total estimated bird population: 350,000

Estimated number of bird trapped per year 1,100,000

Number of bird species exceeding 1%

of the total world population 12
 
 

POPULATION OF PROJECT AREA SEX

District Male FemaleTotal

Chilwa catchment, Zomba District 262,328 278,100 540,428

Chilwa catchment, Machinga District 68,384 76,187 144,571

Chilwa catchment, Phalombe District 108,482 122,966 231,448

Total Lake Chilwa Catchment 439,194 477,253 916,447

Population density in the catchment is approximately 162/sq. km.

1. Reduction in lake level

a) abstraction within the catchment

b) degradation of the catchment

2. Shortage of wood for fuel, construction of fishing craft and buildings

3. Over trapping and shooting birds resident and migratory

1. Poverty

2. Population increase

3. Soil erosion and siltation of the wetland

4. Destruction of riverine breeding grounds and sanctuaries for Lake fishes

5. Increased use of agro-chemicals affecting the water environment

6. Invasion by exotic plant species

1. ENVIRONMENTAL DISTRICT OFFICERS Office of the District Commissioner, P O Box 23, Zomba, Tel: 522 855

Office of the District Commissioner, Private Bag 1, Machinga, Tel: Machinga 9

Office of the District Commissioner, Private Bag 32, Phalombe, Tel: 486 201/468 223

2. PROJECT SUPPORT UNIT

Lake Chilwa Wetland and Tel/Fax: 522 931

Catchment Management Project Cell : 830 860

P O BOX 1127 E-mail : chilwawetland@malawi.net

Zomba
 

Lake Chilwa Wetland and Catchment Management Project