By Mario
Published: Thursday 15 July 1999

Member states of the Mtwara Development Corridor -- Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique -- have formed a three-member committee to speed up the development and management of Lake Nyasa, located at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley. The team, set up on May 14 in Dar-es-Salaam, will prepare a report which will be submitted to the three governments through the ministries responsible for wildlife, marine and natural resources. Priority will be given to raising public awareness on crossborder management of Lake Nyasa resources.

The area is rich in fisheries and wildlife. Tanzania's minister for natural resources and tourism Zakia Meghji said Lake Nyasa is home to more than 700 fish species, which make up 14 per cent of the world's freshwater species. "The lake is a treasure of biodiversity which is worthy of conservation," she said. Sedimentation, which is taking place at a high rate in parts of the lake, is causing pollution of the water. Soil erosion arising from agricultural activities taking place on steep land along the lakeshore is affecting the lake while poor fishing methods are threatening some fish species.

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