Due to the uncertain prospects of rain and the recurrent drought that has plagued the country in recent years, the inhabitants of Zambezi Region now fear for the worst as Lake Liambezi is drying up rapidly, leaving the fish exposed in shallow waters.
The last time Lake Liambezi dried up was between 1986 and 2007, after which the lake filled up again – to the relief of thousands of Muyako residents whose diet consists mainly of fresh and dried fish.
Apart from supporting crop farming, the lake has been a valuable source of income to people in the region for several years due to its rich fish stocks. The lake also attracts fisher-folk from countries like Zambia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who are attracted by the lake’s abundant freshwater fish stocks. However, this is likely to become a thing of the past as water levels have dropped significantly and the fish are dying in vast numbers.
Reecently the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources prohibited local people from catching fish for consumption, or sale, despite the low water levels that are causing vast numbers of fish to die in the shallow waters. The ministry has since December 16, 2015 enforced a ban on freshwater fishing, which will come to an end on the 26th of February, ostensibly to enable fish stocks to recover.
Vincent Salufu, an induna representing the Bukalo Khuta in the Miyako area, northeast of Katima Mulilo, is concerned that the situation at Lake Liambezi is deteriorating day by day as the water levels have dropped drastically, resulting in some parts of the lake simply drying up. Chobe River, which supplies water to the lake, is also dry in some parts, thus eroding the little hope nearby residents had.
Source: All Africa News