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Friday, 02 February 2018 09:46

Salima communities fueling charcoal smuggling

Written by  Golden Kang’oma jnr
People captured carrying charcoal bags from Chiradzulu Mountain in this MANA file photo by Pic by Linda Likomwa People captured carrying charcoal bags from Chiradzulu Mountain in this MANA file photo by Pic by Linda Likomwa

Salima, February 01, 2018: Authorities in Salima district have expressed concern over the communities’ behavior that is fueling charcoal smuggling.

This was revealed Wednesday during a tree planting launch that Total Land Care organized in the district.

The District Forestry Officer for Salima, Adam Jason said communities are accommodating charcoal smugglers and helping them stone forest officers when they want to confiscate the charcoal.

“We are not able to conduct our operations properly in the district as we always have fear of being stoned; this behavior has increased the number of traders coming to get charcoal from the district as the communities are on their side,” explained Jason.

Jason however, added that his office is working towards strengthening their roadblocks as they are so many unchartered roots that are also fueling smuggling as they are relying on temporary checkpoints.

In his sentiments, the programs manager for Total Land Care, Richard Mseka said his organization was making very big strides in forest management pledging to help district forestry officers in their operations.

“Total Land Care is an NGO and we cannot be on the roadblocks confiscating charcoal. What we can pledge on this is to educate and sensitize the masses so that they can follow what is right and be on the right truck of helping the country grow,” he said.

Mseya further said that as a country there was need to adopt new smart climate technologies that work in most areas.

Speaking to the Malawi News Agency (MANA) Traditional Authority Mwanza pointed out that the communities were really fueling the situation and as leaders they were going to deal with the vice.

“We have already established committees which are working towards this what we are doing is to revamp them and make sure that all the victims are taken to task as they are putting our lives in danger,” he added.

Meanwhile, Salima District Forestry Office has planned to plant five million trees while Total Land Care alone has planted 918,000 trees.

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