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Monday, 25 February 2019 07:43

MMCT decries increased plunder of Mulanje Mountain

Written by  Madalitso Lawrence

Mulanje, February 25, 2019: Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) has appealed to communities living around tourist attraction site to desist from wanton cutting down of trees for charcoal production, saying the situation has led to excessive deforestation.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday, MMCT Environmental Education and Awareness Communications Officer, Kondwani Chamwala observed that the state of the mountain is deteriorating annually and requires immediate redress.

He said the situation undermines MMCT’s efforts in environmental conservation, noting that, “We have observed with grave concern that wild animals and trees in the mountain are being plundered due to charcoal production.”

“Much as we are doing enough to curb deforestation, our interventions are facing hitches because communities are reluctant to receive our massages. It is quite frustrating,” the Officer lamented.

Chamwala said the situation has since worsened despite government’s intervention through the deployment of law enforcing agents to the mountain.

 

He disclosed that MMCT is working closely with the communities to curb the problem.

 

“Last year, government deployed some law enforcers into the mountain but this seems not to have helped as deforestation has now worsened,” Chimwala added.

He explained that, “We have established clubs that are visited regularly where we share some best practices on sustainable management of resources in the mountain.” 

High unemployment has precipitated the situation in the district, hence prompting communities to turn a deaf ear to conservation messages, according to one of the villagers, Laston Makwinja.

 

“We hear the messages but most people here are not employed. Where do you think we will get our food? It is the mountain that supplies us with our basic needs. We are not happy to see the mountain being bare but we have no choice,” he said.

Meanwhile, MMCT is distributing free tree seedlings to communities in the district during this tree planting season to plant in their respective areas.

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