The water in Lake Malawi has turned green in a rare phenomenon that has raised concerns among citizens.
Authorities in the country have explained that the greening of the water was caused by a bloom in toxic algae.
Forestry and Natural Resources Minister Nancy Tembo said that occurred after heavy rains and wind mixed up the nutrients found at the bottom of the lake.
She said the lake had become eutrophic – a condition where aquatic life begin to die off as oxygen levels reduce.
The minister has now warned people to stay away and give the green water two weeks to fade away.
Malawi’s fisheries department has also warned fishermen against fishing in the lake saying it could be harmful.
Lake Malawi is located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
It is the fifth largest fresh water lake in the world by volume, the ninth largest lake in the world by area—and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa.
Lake Malawi is home to more species of fish than any other lake, including at least 700 species of cichlids.
The Mozambique portion of the lake was officially declared a reserve by the Government of Mozambique on June 10, 2011 while in Malawi a portion of the lake is included in Lake Malawi National Park.
Lake Malawi is a meromictic lake, meaning that its water layers do not mix.