Malawi is losing 140 megawatts a day in electricity generation due to siltation and hyacinth in the Shire river – the country’s longest river which hosts the main hydro power stations.

The result, according to a 2003 study, has been intermittent power supply causing trade and industry sectors to be losing an estimated K40 million ($230,000) per day.

Increasing demand for water because of needs in agriculture, industry, energy, transport, fisheries and forestry, leaves the southern African nation with no choice but to find a way of how policy makers can work with communities.

The latest state of the environment report says the only solution available to policy makers include development of public-private partnerships in ecotourism, which could provide financial incentives for poor people to conserve biodiversity.

“Gender mainstreaming into conservation programmes since women typically collect forest products, extending and improving the payment for Ecosystems Services program, in which businesses in power generation pay communities for maintenance of catchment area ecosystem services,” says the 2010 environment report

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