Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Paradise in Hell

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One of Zambia’s best kept secrets are the lovely beaches along the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika is the second oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second deepest, and the second largest by volume. The lake is extremely clear, allowing you to see beneath the surface up to 20 metres. You can see massive boulders, spectacular drop-offs, and a shell-covered bottom.

Nestled in the hills along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, this remote, secluded and paradisiacal location is a haven for tourists who enjoy fishing ,water skiing ,snorkeling or relaxing on the pristine beaches. As the locals go fishing or swimming in the lake they will tell they do not fear crocodiles rather its the tiny female anopheles mosquito that is responsible for most deaths in this area.

Malaria is endemic here.It is normal for people to suffer from malaria once or twice a month around these parts.We all know Malaria can be severe and potentially fatal and treatment should be initiated as soon as possible but people here are still dying needlessly. A baby died on the (slow and always packed to the rafters) Mpulungu transport boat a few days ago enroute to the hospital.

All of the villages from Isanga Bay onwards to Chitili, Myamba, Chilumba have not been sprayed against mosquitoes for over two years.

Locals will tell you they have had Malaria AT LEAST once ( minimum) every month in the last year. The clinics are therefore constantly running out of malaria treatment medication. The fact that it is remote makes it even more difficult. Tanzania is a stone throw away.

People travelling to areas where malaria is common typically take prophylactic drugs before, during and after their trip.They also carry insect repellant – sprays , rub-ons and long-sleeved clothing and mosquito nets.

But what do the locals do? Their protection efforts at an individual level are at best very basic. One of the villagers talked to feels the government stopped
distributing mosquito nets because many people were just selling them whilst others used them as fishing nets.

New preventive strategies need to be developed with the stakeholders urgently or else more people will continue to die from this preventable disease.

Whatever strategic plans they have in place, it is quite clear that the break in spraying houses has seen a resurgence of malaria in the area and this needs to be resumed promptly.

If the World Health Organisations goal of a having a Malaria free world by 2030 is to be achieved surely more needs to be done.

By S.Kambiambia

4 COMMENTS

  1. Speak to your chiefs as they are the ones
    that have put villages randomly through their area
    some are not even recorded ….

  2. Zambia and Malawi have failed to commercialise their fantastic Lakeshores for tourism Just clean up a few beaches on Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, Bangweulu even Kariba, create Sun Cities and the whole of Europe will flock to Zambia the real Africa for eight months of the year. And Zambia will have more forex than the Copperbelt is producing now. They all want to flee the harsh European winter. And Zambia continues to pay lip service to the Tourism eldorado it has.

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