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Businesses stall in Likoma  

Property owners along Lake Malawi shores in Likoma district have complained of loss of business as their premises have been submerged in water due to rising levels of water in the lake.

In an interview on Thursday, Dr Aldwin Mtembezeka who owns Club Aldwin along the lake shore said his business has greatly been affected.

“My business has been affected by the water level because access to the club has been reduced. I cannot get some customers which I used to have since they are afraid,” he said.

 Mtembezeka added that “A lot of work is being done to make sure that the club is still habitable and that is a huge cost to the club. We are creating alternative routes to the club since the water level has affected access to the club. We have made some sandbags and we are finding ways to drain water.”

The owner of Pangani Zanu Rest House at Jalo Trading Centre, Bridget Patel said she was no longer earning income from her business as the rest house has been rendered inhabitable.  

“Customers have stopped using the rooms because of the situation. At the moment, it is of no use having the rest house which I built in order to earn a living from it,” she claimed.

One of the rooms at Pangani Zanu Rest House submerged in water. Pic by Ireen Mseteka, Mana

District Commissioner (DC) for Likoma, Abubakar Nkhoma said since March 2023, the water level in Lake Malawi has been rising due to heavy rains that have come due to the effects of Cyclone Freddy and the inter-tropical convergence zone.

“Those who constructed very close to shore have had their structures submerged in water. A similar situation has been experienced by people who cultivated near the shoreline of the lake because their gardens have gone underwater,” he said.

Nkhoma said the situation has a negative effect on both infrastructure and crops to the extent that some people will not harvest.

The DC advised community members to desist from constructing very close to the shorelines saying with climate change similar episodes of high water levels may be experienced on Lake Malawi.

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