Malawi Environment - 2021


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Environment - current issues

deforestation; land degradation; water pollution from agricultural runoff, sewage, industrial wastes; siltation of spawning grounds endangers fish populations; negative effects of climate change (extreme high temperatures, changing precipatation pattens)

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 22.14 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 1.3 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 11.12 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 143.1 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 47.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1.166 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

17.28 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


sub-tropical; rainy season (November to May); dry season (May to November)

Land use

agricultural land: 59.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 38.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 19.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 34% (2018 est.)

other: 6.8% (2018 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 6.19% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.03% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35


urban population: 17.7% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.41% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to reduced incomes - nationally, cereal production is estimated at a bumper high in 2021, which is expected to result in average to above‑average household cereal supplies and thus improvements in food security; despite the good food supply situation, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to curb access to food due to reduced incomes (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,297,844 tons (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Malawi on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Malawi 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Malawi 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.