Malawi’s miracle island, where fish remain plentiful despite climate crisis | African Arguments

While catches have dwindled elsewhere due to the climate crisis and over-fishing, traditional stewardship has helped Mbenje island buck the trend. Hundreds of years ago, Mbenje Island was home to a proud and permanent population. Living in houses made of grass and sticks, the community lived comfortably on this mountainous piece of land in the middle of Lake Malawi, travelling to and from the mainland to trade. The people came to believe, however, that this was no ordinary place. Men would report meeting apparitions, including of naked women, while on fishing expeditions. Others noticed that whenever someone killed a snake, […]

While over-fishing and the climate crisis have contributed to dwindling catches elsewhere in Lake Malawi, the waters around Mbenje remain abundant with fish – something many attribute to the maintenance of the traditions established long ago and handed down generation to generation ever since.


As major polluters reframe the conversation and act as the guardians, it is likely they will come to places like Mbenje to show them how to protect the environment. Please keep documenting this.

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