The Scottish boat that helps feed Malawi


The Scottish boat that helps feed Malawi

Millions of people in southern Africa are facing hunger this year because of a drought that has caused many crops to fail. Among the worst-affected places is Malawi, the poorest nation in the world. Beth McLeod recently travelled the length of Lake Malawi on a boat that was built in Scotland when the country was a British protectorate.

My journey began in the aptly named town of Monkey Bay, where a troop of baboons strutted about the ticket hall, eyeing up the baskets of plump tomatoes carried by some of my fellow passengers. This was the southernmost point of my voyage all the way up Africa"s third largest lake. Our destination was some 300 miles (480km) to the north, near Malawi"s border with Tanzania, which I hoped to reach two-and-a-half days later. I had been warned that it could take longer as the MV Ilala didn"t adhere to her timetable all that strictly. She was the star of Lake Malawi - and an ageing, temperamental one at that - carrying cargo and passengers back and forth every week.

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