“Where the water comes from.”
This is what Nyika means, and it couldn’t be more apt for the work that Peace Parks Foundation’s Nyika National Park Project Coordinator, George Nxumayo, and his team are doing in assessing the impact of long-term degradation around a dam in the park.
Nyika National Park is part of the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area and is one of Malawi’s most important catchment areas, contributing 10% of the water that flows into Lake Malawi, the largest in southern Africa. The conservation of Lake Malawi is vital, as it is regarded as one of the most biologically important freshwater lakes in the world and at least 9 million people are dependent on it for their livelihood. This means protecting Nyika National Park is crucial for the conservation of its unique habitat and the water it provides.
Anthropogenic influences and uncontrolled wildfires have damaged the area surrounding the dam. Managing the dam and the wider catchment area is vital to ensuring the dam remains healthy, as it is important for attracting herds of rare Roan antelope. What’s more, it also attracts enthusiastic trout fishermen, which opens up exciting new tourism opportunities for the park.
Together with the trekking and mountain biking routes already established in the park, well-managed trout fishing will broaden the park’s offering and make it a truly diverse adventure tourism destination. The potential to bring in much-needed additional revenue has significant potential to open up further employment opportunities and support community development, as a share of the park’s revenue is indeed set aside for community development.
Attracting more visitors to Nyika can bolster sustainable conservation efforts in the park and protect vital water sources in the greater Lake Malawi catchment area. We wish George and his team all the best as they aim to revive, preserve, and protect the precious water sources in Nyika National Park.