By: Lackson Kanyoza
Chiradzulu district Forestry office has joined hands with the police in enforcing laws as a way of controlling illegal sale of forestry products from the shire-highland district.
According to forestry officials, the illegal transportation of charcoal and timber is rampant in the southern region of Malawi and they expressed optimism of managing the situation through tougher law enforcement.
Chiradzulu district forestry officer, Yamikani Makwinja in an interview with The Malawi Star said such products are transported from many southern region districts to the commercial city of Blantyre through Chiradzulu district routes.
“Chiradzulu is one of the districts which has been heavily affected by environmental depletion. So we thought it wise to introduce laws which will control the illegal sale of forestry products such as charcoal and timber,” said Makwinja.
He further explained that not less than three Lorries loaded with charcoal and timber are impounded in Chiradzulu every night.
In his remarks Chiradzulu police community policing coordinator, Inspector Kingsley Mvuthe said they will arrest anyone being caught in relation to charcoal burning and tree cutting.
“Our office is working hand in hand with the Forestry Department to make sure that the forests are not vandalized and no one possesses any forest-related products without a valid license,” said Mvuthe.
Chiradzulu district is among the 15 districts that were hit by January 2015 floods and has experienced the dry spell this year since most of the forests are bare as many trees have been lost through charcoal and brick burning.
As a way of managing the forests, the forestry office is conducting sweeping exercises in the forest together with the police twice every fortnight as well as doing night patrols and has mounted roadblocks across the district’s roads to cease any forest-related products.