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Feeling the heat: The impact of climate change on Lake Malawi

It is early morning on Lake Malawi.

Fishing boats are coming in and out of view. They are like little dots on the horizon. In the nearby fishing village of Nguwo, groups of fishermen are preparing to fish while others are carefully sorting through their catch. It’s a busy morning and the smell of fried Chambo wafts across the nearby market.

Chambo is Malawi's most popular fish. It also provides 60 percent of the nation's protein requirement and a livelihood for many of the country’s poorest people.

Over 300,000 people living near Lake Malawi rely on catching or trading fish as part of their primary income, while over 1.5 million people depend on the lake for food, water and transportation. But with the impacts of climate change, declining water levels and dwindling fish stock are now becoming a daily reality for fishermen and communities who depend on the Lake.

George, a local fisherman from Nguwo Village tells me that the lake's water levels are dropping. He says his catch is ‘shrinking day by day’. George is worried about the future. There is ‘less fish, less money and more hunger’ he says.

Susan Cahill

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