Lake Malawi, Malawi - Emily Tyner

I’m here talking about water quality on Lake Malawi, specifically biological contamination and e.coli. So fecal contamination on near shore Lake Malawi. It’s interesting because I’ve looked at that issue in Lake Michigan and there’s a lot of resources and tracking and beach closures tied to it but it’s a very understudied area on Lake Malawi from what I can understand. But at the same time people are super dependent on the lake for drinking water and cooking water and cleaning and fishing. That’s the life, water is life there, it is everywhere but especially it seems like in Lake Malawi so it’s been interesting to share stories about what we’ve found in terms of fecal contamination of near shore drinking water and what that means for populations that live along the shore line. I like how it has this public health component that’s really tied to equality in a way that we can relate to in the Great Lakes it’s also an African Great Lakes issue as well.

So I guess the first thing was that there’s very high e.coli in near shore Lake Malawi, which isn’t a surprise because it’s so heavily used but happily just a tad off shore, 5 meters offshore to 15 meters offshore and beyond water quality is much improved in terms of biological contaminations. So if there’s public beach goers who are looking at a place to collect water just a little bit off shore you can get much higher quality water in terms of biological contamination. So that was really encouraging, even though things might gloomy close to shore you don’t have to go very far to get cleaner water.

Jessica Gordon
Emily Tyner

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