The fishermen on Lake Nyasa are still fishing from Stone Age boats. We are helping them purchase motor fishing boats to replace these. Each boat will cost £3000.
The Lake Nyasa Fishing Boat Appeal
Lake Nyasa is the southernmost lake in the Great African Rift Valley. It would stretch from Llandudno to Calais; 350 miles long, 30-50 miles wide and up to 2000 feet deep.
The shore of the Tanzanian side of the lake is remote from local population centres. It takes at least eight hours on roads like a rough farm track to travel the 125 miles from Manda on the lake to Njombe the regional capital.
Paradise and Poverty
While photos of the lakeside could come from any travel brochure the reality is very different. Water for cooking and washing is carried long distances from the lakeside in 5 gallon drums on the heads of women and children. Washing of clothes and personal bathing also takes place on the lake.
The staple diet of people in the lakeside communities is ugali (a mash of maize meal pounded for up to two hours before cooking) and fish, but the fishermen dare not travel too far from shore owing to their boats. The boats are hollowed out tree trunks unchanged since the Stone Age.
Following an appeal which raised £13,000, we have established a management committee to provide each of the four lakeside communities of Ilela, Manda, Mbongo and Makonde with a fishing boat with an outboard motor so the fishermen can travel to the centre of the lake in reasonable safety. For more information contact the Revd Mike Harrison. The engines have been purchased and hardwood is being sourced for building the boats.