The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Lake Nyasa water level rises to a record high, threatening lives

Lake Nyasa, located in Southern Tanzania, joins Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika is experiencing rising water levels due to ongoing rains in the Eastern Africa regions.

Lake Nyasa is shared between Tanzania and Malawi but so far its rising water levels seem to mostly affect people in the latter.

While authorities in Malawi say rains have abated in the Southern Africa country, Lilongwe’s Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services reveals that more inflow of water currently originates from Tanzania where rains continue to pound.

As it happens, over 50 percent of the water feeding Nyasa originates from Tanzania where the catchment for the world’s most beautiful lake is.

Malawi’s Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services through its director Lucy Mtilatila warn that the lake is at its peak levels, as such may continue swelling.

Other sources told The Tanzania Times that despite the government saying the rainy season is over, there are however some districts in the Northern Region such as Karonga and Chitipa that continue to experience massive precipitation.

Weather experts explain that climatologically, the rainy season in Malawi came to an end in April but due to climate change some seasons get prolonged as was evidenced this year.

Despite most districts being affected by El Nino induced drought, the lake levels have been rising, submerging houses and accommodation structures along its shores.

Malawi’s National Water Resources Authority (NWRA) said the lake levels were at 475.95 meters above sea level as of March 2024, but this level should have been surpassed by May.

Around this time last year, the Lake Nyasa water level had flushed at 475.12 Meters above sea level.

It is being estimated that Lake Malawi water levels normally reach the peak between the months of April and May.

But in this hydrological year the lake water levels have taken the highest trajectory since 2010.

Experts say the increase has been attributed to increased rains in the Northern Region of Malawi and the Tanzanian side which constitute the main catchment of Lake Malawi.

At the time, the National Water Resources Authority was releasing 600 cubic meters of water at Kamuzu Barrage in Liwonde, Machinga District which it says is more than the requirement downstream as a way of reducing the flooding upstream.

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