Organisers of Lake of Stars (LoS) Arts Festival over the weekend conducted a cleanup exercise on the beaches of Lake Malawi in group village head Kachere in Nkhata Bay District where the festival is scheduled to take place.
The festival, dubbed Lake of Stars Discovery, was last year held at Kabumba Hotel in Salima, but will now take place in the remote setting of Nkhata Bay District at KachereKastle from September 27 to 29.
Speaking with Nation Online during the cleaning exercise, Lake of Stars Festival senior project manager Sharmila Elias said the exercise forms part of the festival. They involve communities around the festival venue in ensuring that their surroundings are clean.
She said: “It is part of Malawi culture that we clean our homes in a special way whenever we are expecting visitors. It is part of the set-up for the festival that we involve the communities in the clean-up exercise ahead of the festival. It is nice that we were joined by different partners, including European Union (EU), Renewable Energy and Efficiency, Riple Africa and learners from Kachere Primary School.”
The cleaning exercise involved removing plastics and other dirty stuffs along the stretch of Kachere Beach.
Through the initiative, with EU support, the communities have also been taught how to recycle the waste and use them in manufacturing other useful products such as bangles.
EU sustainable agriculture team leader Beatrice Neri said the effort aims at empowering communities to refrain from throwing plastics anyhow that have negative impact on the environment.
“Apart from the general cleaning exercise, we thought it important to go further by equipping 40 communities on innovative way of keeping the environment clean through recycling of the wastes,” he said.
For over 15 years, the Lake of Stars project has been working to promote Malawian music, culture and tourism.
Among the notable artists to perform at this year’s event include Black Major, DJ Lag, Moonchild Sanelly, Erik Paliani, Faith Mussa, Sangie and Malinga.