Malawi: ICEIDAs Safety Training leads to decrease in accidents on Lake Malawi



The safety training courses in the fishing villages at Lake Malawi which ICEIDA has been holding throughout the last few years have lead to a significant cut down in accidents on the water. According to Stefán Kristmannsson, Project Manager, there is no data available on the drowning of fishermen in Lake Malawi, but a part of the project has been to improve data collection. He says that information on accidents is now collected and registered with the authorities. “Everywhere, where we have been training fishermen in safety affairs, people agree that the training has led to a substantial decrease in accidents, including fatal accidents,” says Stefán.

The courses have been held in fishing villages at the southern part of Lake Malawi, in Mangochi District and Stefán believes that close to 40% of fishermen in these villages have received training, there of 8% women. He says that they were welcomed. “They are built on safety training for fishermen, including first aid. We adjusted the courses to the environment, printed brochures and used radio to rouse attention to their importance,” says Stefán

At Lake Malawi, fishing technique is rather primitive and the fishermen are poor. “They neither own good boats nor suitable fishing gear to exploit deeper waters. That is why Malawian authorities came to ICEIDA with the request for assistance in the development of small scale fishery technology so fishing on deeper waters could be possible. The project started with data collection from the fishing villages in Mangochi District, at the southern part of Lake Malawi. Soon it was realised that not only boats and fishing gear were needed but also, fishermen and women had never received any information on safety affairs in relation to their work.

The project’s first phase on small scale fishery technology development on Lake Malawi will finish by the end of the year. According to an external evaluation, most of the project’s objectives have been reached. Continuation of the project is yet uncertain, but according to Stefán it is clear that thousands of fishermen at Lake Malawi would welcome the safety training because of the courses good reputation. “We believe it would substantially increase the safety of fishermen and their families,” says Stefán Kristmannsson.

Older News: The First Course Regarding the Safety of Fishermen held in Malawi – August2007