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Why Green Media Awards?
The motivation is to promote and sustain media coverage on the environment in Malawi and accelerate the agenda for sustainable utilization of Malawi’s natural resources.

  Eligibility
All journalists practising in Malawi are eligible to apply, however, AEJ members will have an added advantage. Each Journalist is eligible to submit a minimum of two stories per category for a maximum of three categories.

  Language
The jury will entertain materials in English and Chichewa only.

Categories
Agriculture (nutrition, irrigation e.t.c), Best blogger / On-line journalists, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Energy, Forestry, Green Media House of the year, Mining, The Green Documentary, The Green Investigative/Accountability award, The Green Photojournalist of the year, Waste Management and Pollution, Water and Sanitation, Wildlife,  

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Speed Boat Ups Vwaza Marsh Enforcement And Tourism

Law enforcement effort on Lake Kazuni inside Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve and tourists related activities are expected to improve, thanks to a donation of a 100 Horse Power speed boat secured courtesy of the Malawi - Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Project funded by KfW of Germany.

The donation comes barely a year after a Savannah Aircraft was donated by Peace Parks Foundation to Department of National Parks and Wildlife specifically Vwaza Marsh. The purpose is to beef up law enforcement and wildlife species monitoring. Both the aircraft and the speed boat are milestones when it comes to wildlife protection in the reserve.

The coming of the five passenger capacity seater boat with two engines will service law enforcement, where patrols have been a challenge to a larger extent.

Staff test ride the 100 Horse Power speed boat on Lake Kazuni in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve

Other than enforcement, the speed boat will also be used for tourism. Visitors coming to Vwaza will be offered an opportunity to appreciate the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife species in the reserve.

Vwaza is a combination of both terrestrial (dominated by Brachystegia woodlands) and aquatic ecosystems. Lake Kazuni located at the main entrance and feeding into South Rukuru offers wildlife viewing to visitors especially hippos which are well over 300 in numbers. The reserve also hosts migratory birds like the Egyptian geese.

“I am very excited with the acquisition of this boat. It will assist a lot in patrols as one area that we have been struggling to contain, is illegal fishing on Lake Kazuni. On the other hand, it will assist us in the area of tourism. During this rainy season, we have been limited in terms of services will render to our visitors. The boat revenue collections will in turn boost the 25% share that goes to surrounding communities bordering the reserve,” an excited Moyo explained in an interview from Vwaza in Rumphi.

Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve Manager, Leonard Moyo is excited the speed boat will make enforcement easier

Lake Kazuni has been riddled by poachers that fish using mosquito nets. In October 2019, authorities arrested poachers who were using over 40 meters of insect treated nets to catch fish which is prohibited under the law. They were charged for contravening the National Parks and Wildlife Act and sentenced to two years in prison without option for a fine.

Two months later a ‘General Notice’ on the ban on use of mono-filament nets for fishing purposes in all water bodies in Malawi’ was published in the Nation (in Malawi) by the Fisheries department.

“I am very excited with the acquisition of this boat. It will assist a lot in patrols as one area that we have been struggling to contain, is illegal fishing on Lake Kazuni. On the other hand, it will assist us in the area of tourism. During this rainy season, we have been limited in terms of services will render to our visitors. The boat revenue collections will in turn boost the 25% revenue that goes to surrounding communities bordering the reserve,” an excited Moyo explained in an interview from Vwaza in Rumphi.

Director of Fisheries, Friday Njaya in a recent interview warned that the ban on the use of mono-filament nets for fishing purposes was effected because these types of nets are a danger to aquatic life and the environment. Once left in the ecosystem, they remain un-biodegradable forever, he sounded the alert.

The view of Lake Kazuni which is located at main the entrance of the reserve

“This means that they will continue to be present in the environment forever. This has consequences on living organisms such as fish, crabs and many others living species that are mobile and can be trapped in the cause of mobility to search for food or during breeding period,” Njaya warned on the long – term dangers of using the mono - filament nets.

According to Fisheries department the ban was necessary to protect the interconnected web of life in aquatic ecosystems.

Photos: Courtesy of Leonard Moyo, Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, Rumphi

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About the Author
Charles Mkoka
Charles Mkoka is Secretary General of the Association of Environmental Journalists. He is also Lead Partner for Ecosystems Partners, a privately owned firm he set up in 2015. He is a regular contributor of AEJ News and one of the editorial crew behind content gathering and production.



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