Notes to broadcasters: Shrinking lakes

    | June 3, 2013

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    Lake Malawi (called Lake Nyasa in Tanzania, or Lago Niassa in Mozambique) is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system. It is located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, it is reportedly the habitat of more species of fish than any other body of freshwater in the world.

    For more information on Lake Malawi, visit this link:

    The story on which this article was based can be found here:

    In September, 2012, Farm Radio Weekly ran a story about a similar situation in Malawi’s Lake Chilwa. You can find the story through this link:

    To read more about Lake Chilwa, see:

    -“Malawi: Shrinking lake threatens livelihoods” (for more on the impact on fishers and farmers):

    -“The dying lake” (to learn more about how human activities exacerbate the problem):

    -“Malawi fears hunger as Lake Chilwa dries” (to explore the ecological importance of the lake):

    The drying of these lakes is linked to climate change. Farm Radio International’s script package #89, published in December 2009, focused on farmer adaptation to climate change, and provides a wealth of resources, including scripts and background information. “Awareness of climate change: An issue pack” provides a primer on the subject:

    You might also consider producing a call-in and text-in show, or a locally researched news story, on this topic. Here are some questions that could help guide your research:

    -What differences in seasonal temperature and rainfall patterns have people observed?

    -Have floods and/or droughts been more of less frequent in the last 20-30 years than in previous decades?

    -What differences have been seen in local rivers and lakes in recent decades?

    -What techniques are farmers using to prevent flooding, adapt to droughts, and make the best use of available water?

    -What other steps have farmers taken to maintain food security in the case of severe drought or floods?