Building of nsanje port on shire zambezi waterway engineering essay

Malawi is a landlocked region that depends on Mozambican ports on the Indian Ocean for transport of imported and exported merchandise. The project will open new doors for Malawi and reduce transport costs. Presently Malawi uses Beira and Nacala port in Mozambique that transporters cover a go back distance of about 1700km from Blantyre. Using Nsanje slot, transporters now covers a distance of 238 km for a return journey to Blantyre as opposed to Beira port. Decrease in transport costs may lead to reduction of other goods such as agricultural inputs. This will be a advantage to the Malawians who rely upon agriculture for his or her economy and it will also improve food security in the country.

The project will also offer Malawi with a multimodal transport linkage to other territory locked countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia; the people of Nsanje district will come to be empowered socially and economically due to new infrastructure and market segments which will be established to support the products and services of the port; the visual landscapes of Nsanje district will increase with the setting up of the slot; creation of temporary and permanent jobs; period saving and decrease on wear and tear of vehicles because of reduced travel distance.

Though the project will have positive effects but may also have negative impacts such as for example loss of fishing area and money for fishermen who employed to fish along the shire river; air and water pollution because of construction work that may take place on the webpage; the job will affect the drinking water species determined along this section of the Shire river; empowerment of folks socially and economically may boost the spreading of HIV and Helps as this districts already has raised percentage of HIV patients due to cultural beliefs; urbanization due to viable environment for tiny scale and large scale businesses; natural visual scenery will be afflicted by new designed structures, risk to flooding along the Shire river; conflicts with hosting communities and detrimental influences on faith and local culture.


The project will end up being located at Nsanje District in Malawi. Malawi is located between latitudes of 09Ëš and 17Ëš south and longitudes of 33Ëš and 37Ëš east. Malawi can be bordered by Zambia in the East, Tanzania in the North and Mozambique in the South and West. Nsanje District Assembly is found at the tip of Southern Malawi where Malawi shares borders with Mozambique. It really is at this place that the shire river passes along the boundary between Malawi and Mozambique flowing into Zambezi river and then to Indian Ocean through Chinned Port. The site was selected as a result of the wider width of the river as it connects to Zambezi River providing an improved place for the port. Location map is proven in relation to the Shire River and area for the proposed slot.

Malawi Map showing position of Nsanje, Imagery showing location of the slot, Shire River and Nacala corridor from Mozambique.


In Malawi environmentally friendly Act enacted in 1996, provides the legal framework for the security and management of the surroundings, the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources. EIA processes will be outlined on section 24 of the Take action to which all individual and public builders must adhere to. The Act has outlined projects that EIA can be mandatory before implementation of the job as gazetted in section 24. The section as well stipulates all activities that must be completed by the programmer before any implementation. The developer has to submit a project simple to environmentally friendly Affairs Section (EAD) who administers environmentally friendly Act. The Director assesses the project and is supported by knowledge from the complex committee of environmental affairs (TEC) which take part in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements; job briefs reviews; Terms of Reference (ToRs) and EIA reviews; develop and monitor task auditing program and recommended course of action to the Director though the director is not bound by the TEC statement. The act as well stipulates that only the EAD can be mandated to concern out certificate under section 26(3) for which an EAI is required.

For thorough evaluation of project activities that may have significant impact on the environment by the port programmer, the EIA is reinforced by various Malawi government Functions and policies as indicated in table 1 and other intercontinental legislatures as attached on appendix I.

Malawi legal documents

Table 1 – EIA Legislature in Malawi

4.2 EIA Process

The EAI process is carried out in phases in a project cycle where EIA requirements are integrated within the cycle (EMA, 1996). The job cycle is completed in phases and commences with a concept then pre-feasibility and feasibility studies before an in depth design and implementation phase. The aim of the cycle it to supply detailed and up-to-date environmental info at key levels in the cycle. This can help the developer to recognize early benefits from an EIA and able to do something on any significant adjustments and adopt them during job implementation. The project routine also provides possibility to the programmer, consultant, relevant authorities, interested parties and everyone to examine the impacts of the job on the environment and offer alternatives on undesireable effects. The project cycle targets identification of detrimental impacts, reasonable alternatives and assessing the relevant problems so as to ensure that the EIA becomes a good to decision makers. All of the activities in the task cycle are done through screening and scoping.

4.1 Screening

Screening allows a project to become assessed whether an EIA is required or not and establishes the foundation for scoping (Theodorsdouttir, 1999). In Malawi, screening is done through a project short which is a document that highlights significant issues made by the developer and in cases like this the Malawi Government and is usually submitted to the Director of Environmental Affairs Division and who is reinforced by TEC to examine whether it requires EIA or not. Construction of an inland slot is among the assignments that EIA is mandatory in Malawi therefore an EIA is usually to be carried out (EMA, 1996).

4.2 Scoping

Scooping ensures that all relevant problems to be addressed in an EIA are proven and makes sure that all relevant authorities, interested and influenced parties are participating, alternatives to the project are identified and to be certain that the solutions are conserved and employed wisely. In Malawi, extensive identification of the significant impacts are based on the Terms of Reference (ToRs) which are prepared by the programmer and accepted by the director (EMA, 1996). ToRs are determined in the scooping method. The figure I under outlines all of the EIA method in Malawi.

Figure I – EIA process in Malawi

Figure 1

Sources: Handbook on Environmental Assessment Legislation in the SADC Region

Scooping is performed through consultations and at different

key stages, unique organisations and individuals participate in the EIA research as displayed in Table II

Table II


There are various methods of assessing environmental job impacts such as for example checklist, network diagrams, graphical comparisons overlays and matrices (FAO, 1995) In this assessment matrices as displayed in figure 2 have already been used to develop the most significant impacts as matrices quickly identify impacts in a summary form and provides better bases for analyzing most significant types Leopold et al. (1971).

Figure II Matrices

4.4 Environmental Plan

Impacts recognized in the matrices are further assessed by Stakeholders, EAD, TEC, public and the developer to evaluate the impacts and in addition identify mitigation actions. In environmentally friendly plan potential project impacts are identified in regard to task phases as indicated in Appendix II

The most significant impact- Water Pollution

The most crucial environmental effect on this project is normal water pollution. Water pollution is the contamination of normal water bodies through pollutants which will be discharged directly into water bodies without enough measures to eliminate harmful compounds. Water pollution may take place due to effluents derived from soil erosion, accidental spills, waste essential oil, fertilizers and detergents, heavy metal and pesticides, heat and micro-organisms (JICA/GOK, 1992).

5.1 Significant Impacts

Drinking Water: Water is known as safe if it works extremely well by humans and other living creatures with no effect (UNEP, 1999). Polluted drinking water is not secure for having for the communities living along the river and can certainly wipe away a large population of human beings and family pets as the birds displayed in figure3.

Figure 3

Loss of seafood: Polluted water through essential oil spills and chemical substance leakage may result in loss of fish and other water species. This might lead to lack of money for fishermen as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 –

Visual effect: Algae may increase on stagnant normal water and affect the visual impact of the surface water testmyprep as shown on figure 5.

Figure 5 –

Waterborne diseases: polluted normal water could cause waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Ordour: Sediments in the drinking water under the structures could cause drinking water stagnation and after sometime the drinking water may produce odours which may be nuisance to the persons working around the area

Impact on irrigation: Water polluted with chemical compounds and essential oil spills may affect irrigated crops.

Recreation: Polluted water will not be good for swimming or recreation as it may affect the people in contact with polluted water.

To reduce drinking water pollution, there is have to provide you with mitigation and monitoring actions as displayed in table III beneath.

Significant impact

Project Activity

Possible Mitigation measures

Prediction and Monitoring measures

Water pollution

Landfills and site development

Careful site collection and layout design and style is important to reduce stagnation. Dredging should be carried out to eliminate any deposits and sediments in the water

Enhance the water rules Work to punish offenders who deliberately pollute water

Construction of break waters, bays and terminals

Make a fence around the construction area

Quarterly meetings through the construction phase ought to be held to screen the unfavorable environmental impacts. TEC and EAD to monitor the activities

Dredging and disposal of dredged materials

Proper disposal of dredged materials plays an important role in preserving the environment.

Monitor sediment deposits and make use of Secchi disk to check depth and visibility (US, 1992).

Waste Management

Encourage recycling and devise appropriate means of disposing both solid and liquid waste

District Assembly to keep an eye on all dumping sites and recommend residents accordingly.

Transportation of construction materials

Proper handling of recycleables is necessary i.e.

Cover cement and sprinkle normal water frequently on dusty roads

Monitor handling of the raw materials.

Vessel traffic operations

Appropriate regulations should be put in destination to appeal to ship discharge, emissions and oil from cargo, ship spills and disposal of waste

Use of Microwave distant sensing satellites and receivers aboard ship vessels to keep an eye on ship movements, oil spills and grease and ship leakage in the river (Woodhouse, 2006).

Use predictions styles to monitor water top quality such as Artificial Intelligence types, Artificial Neural Network models and Mathematical assimilations (Najah et al., 2009)

Cargo handling and storage

Special equipment should be provided for managing cargo and transport of merchandise and Provision ought to be designed for periodical clean-up of floats and wastes

Developer to monitor that cargo handling gear is regularly serviced

Waterfront and cargo operations

Provide restrictions on effluent from waterfront sectors and monitoring of normal water quality

TEC to monitor all activities probably by using a complete time environmental specialist.

Transportation of goods

All roads resulting in the port will need to have bitumen in order to avoid dust which may pollute the water.

Stakeholders to keep an eye on where they right now there expertise is necessary.

5.2 Functions that govern the legislature for normal water are;

Environmental Management Act 1996 which stipulates the conservation and sustainability of utilization of natural resources and drinking water is one of the natural resources.

Water Resources Act 1969

The action governs the control conservation, apportionment and make use of water solutions in Malawi.

Water Works Act

The act causes an offence if any person willfully and negligently triggers water pollution.

5.3 Baseline data

Baseline data is the collection of relevant facts proposed in the project with the goal of identifying the status and styles of environmental factors (e.g., drinking water pollutant concentrations). This gives possibilities to predict changes in conditions of importance and provide for means of detecting actual changes once the project is set up. Baseline data plays a significant role in EIA evaluation and monitoring of environmental results (Wathern, 1988).

Alpha (1995) recommends the next data to be collected for checking drinking water pollution:

Dissolved Oxygen

Water conductivity

Water salinity




Use of questionnaire to get more details from the communities around the district Assembly on the actions that take place along the river

Measurements on sediments.

Maps demonstrating river catchments area

5.3.1 Parameters for checking water quality

UNEP prescribes measurement of varied parameters for assessing, water quality and these include:-

Temperature – recommended is between 25 and 35

Suspended solids- it is recommended is 30mg/l

Biochemical oxygen Demand (5-day at 20 C) Tidy water is between 4mg/l to 10 and a lot more than 10 is known as polluted

Heavy metal concentration should not go beyond 0.1mg/l in combination

Lead (PB) less than 0.1mg/l

Mercury (Hg) significantly less than 0.005 mg/l

Silver (Ag) , Zinc(Zn), Chromium (Cr), Arsenic (As) significantly less than 0.05 mg/l

Nickel (nI) significantly less than 0.3 mg/l

Copper (Cu), Cyanides (CN), Hydrogen Sulphide (S) significantly less than 1.0mg/l

Free Ammonia (NH 3 ) significantly less than 0.2mg/l

Phenolic Compounds (Phenol) 0.001 mg/l

Nitrates (N) 10mg/l


Floating materials oils foam and greases.

Bhardwaj, 2005, recommend water quality standards as demonstrated in the desk below:

5.4 GAPS

Measurement of water top quality can only just be undertaken by people with special knowledge and with special tools which can’t be used by an area person and the normal water measuring instruments are not up-to-date and not plenty of to cover all drinking water bodies in the country (UNEP, 1999).


This project includes a significant impact on water which is critical to water species and humans therefore mitigation measures need to be followed to reduce drinking water pollution in the Shire river which its impacts may have an impact over an extended distance and completely to the Indian ocean and affect so various people and all water habitats.

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