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Thursday, 16 April 2020 08:37

Chiefs worried over illegal charcoal burning

Written by  Aaron Banda
Charcoal selling is common in Malawi Charcoal selling is common in Malawi

Mchinji, April 16: Chiefs in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mlonyeni have expressed concern over the wanton cutting down of trees and illegal charcoal production by communities surrounding Mchinji Forest Reserve.

Recently chiefs in the area visited Mchinji forestry office to lodge a complaint and to ask the office to quickly find a solution to the problem.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), one of the chiefs, Senior Group Leveni confirmed of the chiefs visit to the forestry office.

He said the chiefs want the forestry office to take an action on the issue saying failure to do so would result in more trees cut down.

“Two weeks ago I and other chiefs went to the forestry office to explain about what is happening in the forests,” he said.

He said community members are specifically destroying indigenous trees raising fears of the forest losing its natural trees.

In a separate interview, Mchinji District Forestry Officer Fortune Kanyada acknowledged the concern, saying wanton cutting down of trees and illegal charcoal production is a major challenge the office is facing.

Kanyada said villagers from the areas of TAs Mlonyeni, Nyoka, Mkanda, Mavwere and STA Kapunura are the major culprits in illegal charcoal production.

“We are trying our best in conducting routine patrols in all forest reserves. We also conduct sensitization meetings with communities surrounding Mchinji and Thyolasanu forest reserves on the evils of the malpractice,” she said.

Recently, police in the district arrested seven people from TA Nyoka and Mlonyeni for cutting down trees and practicing illegal charcoal burning.
Mchinji district has two forest reserves namely Mchinji and Thyolasanu.

 

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