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Trip PlannerAfrica  /  Malawi  /  Northern Region  /  Nkhata Bay

Nkhata Bay

Nkhata Bay or just Nkhata is the capital of the Nkhata Bay District in Malawi. It is on the shore of Lake Malawi (formerly Lake Nyasa), east of Mzuzu, and is one of the main ports on Lake Malawi. The population of Nkhata Bay is estimated to be 14,722 as of 2008. Nkhata Bay is 413km from Lilongwe, Malawi's capital city, and 576km from Blantyre, Malawi's largest city. Nkhata Bay is the second "busiest resort" on Lake Malawi.HistoryThe ancestors of Nkhata Bay residents were the Tonga . In the 19th century the area suffered frequent attacks from the Ngoni people, who fled north to escape the rule of the Zulu king Shaka, in South Africa.DemographicsLanguageChichewa is the preferred language in hospitals, churches, radio and newspapers in Nkhata Bay, although Chitumbuka is the main language spoken in the Northern Region. Tonga is the main language spoken in Nkhata Bay's schools; Tonga is used approximately 92% of the time.EconomyNkhata Bay is dependent on fish. Farming, especially cassava, is the main occupation in the area. Rubber plantations also exist at Nkhata Bay. In May 2008, the Lweya irrigation scheme in Nkhata Bay was "rehabilitated".Income from tourism is a major source of income to the Nkhata Bay community.Damage to cropsIn April 2002, over 1000ha of "corn, rice, nuts and cassava" were washed away at Nkhata Bay after heavy rain, causing a worsening of food shortages. In March 2006, Nkhata Bay received over 300 bags of maize from the Feed the Nation Fund, because the area was suffering from food shortages. There were heavy rains in April 2006, causing further damage to Nkhata Bay. Malawi's former minister of agriculture, Uladi Mussa Monday, stated in May 2008 that due to heavy rain and flooding, crops in Nkhata Bay had washed away; he said this would cause an "acute food shortage".
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