Muluzi appeal for Dzalanyama Forest Reserve’s conservation

Malawi Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Atupele Muluzi on Friday launched an appeal against deforestation and forest degradation in Dzalanyama Forest Reserve.

He said in Lilongwe that government is making an appeal to stakeholders and interested organisations to support the initiative to stop the alarming deforestation and forest degradation taking place in Dzalanyama which is an important area.

“All stakeholders need to recognise that one of the most important forests in the country is under an emergency situation in as far as deforestation or forest degradation is concerned. Decisive action is immediately required in order to reverse the current serious situation,” said Muluzi.dzalanyama

He added that Dzalanyama is one of the most valuable forests in terms of the sustainability of our country when it comes to water supply, food security and economic growth.

The reserve is the source for Lilongwe River which supplies water to the capital city through Kamuzu Dam 1 and 2 and the catchment also forms some part of the largest agricultural production areas for maize production, annual yield in the three districts of Lilongwe, Dedza and Mchinji which accounts for approximately 30nper cent of the national total yield, he explained.

He bemoaned that the reserve is being seriously deforested due to the illegal charcoal production and firewood collection.

According to him, about 70 per cent of charcoal consumed in the three districts for domestic use is being produced in the reserve.

Consequently, Dzalanyama Forest has suffered massive forest loss in the recent past. The amount of annual biomass loss is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the total stock.

“This implies that the forest will be completely exhausted in the next 10 years if nothing is done to reverse the situation,” he observed.

Muluzi therefore called upon all stakeholders such as the private sector, communities surrounding the reserve and residents of the capital city who benefit from Dzalanyama in one way or another to provide unreserved support towards addressing deforestation and forest degradation in the reserve.

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15 thoughts on “Muluzi appeal for Dzalanyama Forest Reserve’s conservation”

  1. Moyenda says:

    People cut trees primarily for energy, for fuel wood. Secondarily, they cut down trees for energy to cure bricks for construction. All these are also linked to jobs and income (livelihoods). Hon Minister, consider the following free advice: 1. Make electricity and industrial gas accessible and affordable. Does the community around Dzalanyama have alternative sources of energy for cooking nsima, beans, pumpkins, potatoes? 2. Ban baked bricks. Introduce hydra foam blocks or cement blocks. Remove duty on industrial equipment. Local artisans like fabricators can use scrap metal to make moulds for cement blocks. 3. Diverisfy sources of income and create jobs for the folks around Dzalanyama. Stand by Likuni in the morning and watch how many bicycles laden with firewood and charcoal will pass you. Link this to my point number 1 – it’s a question of demand a supply. There is a need, a market, for fuel wood and charcoal in Lilongwe city. The poor folks that don’t have an alternative livelihood are simply being entrepreneurial. 4. Collaborate with the MOH and MOE. Population growth will turn Dzalanyama into farms and homesteads. Tikubelekana kwambiri. MOE can do even double, keep girls in school longer, to delay motherhood. But schools can also be used in “plant-a-tree campaign”. 5. launch a “plant a tree and ensure it survives at least for five years”. We plant many trees each year, but few survive. Hon Minister, why? Look 20 years back, what did Kamuzu do right? 6. Fight corruption. Corrupt public officials are the ones depleting our forests, from Dzonzi Mvai in Ntcheu to Chingale in Machinga to Chikangawa. It’s corruption! 7. Each year billions of litres of water flow through our land. Yet it remains dry and waterless. Create more community water reservoirs through the country (ma dam), they do not always have to be complex and expensive engineering masterpieces although we need those too. This is my one kwacha worth of contribution. If you are serious about this, I will be looking out to see your strategic plan. How did we get to where we are? where do we want to go? and how do we get there? I don’t want to hear a consultant has been engaged to develop a strategy and millions paid to them. We have competent public officials. Let them do the job.

  2. Dr. Mango says:

    Law enforcement first by engaging services of MDF, National Parks and Police Mobile Force regularly. However, these forces should accept reasonably reduced rates of allowances when conducting patrols. Secondly, Escom would find it extremely difficult to reduce tarriffs in the short period of time because they spend dearly when removing silt from Shire River as a result of deforestation. This then calls for stepping up afforestation and natural regeneration efforts in forest reserves and on customary land areas. Additionally, all planted trees should be jealously protected to maturity ages. This is every individual’s duty. LET US LOVE OUR COUNTRY, IT MAY NOT BE TOO LATE TO CHANGE THE SITUATION OF OUR FORESTS.

  3. Limbika GP says:

    Malawi is a funny country to live in, Mr Muluzi you know as well as i do that all politicians in Malawi only care about their pockets and no one is ready even to enforce the law. Why do you bother to sit in parliament and make laws that you politicians are not even ready to abide by / honour let alone to enforce. People are encroaching hills and mountains and no one cares for the future of those living in the low lying areas should we have heavy rains one day. It means no protection for houses below as all trees are being cut down at an alarming rates. Sir this is your ministry and you are now responsible, do all the things you promised us when you were campaigning. Another issue while politicians are busy bickering to line their pockets the Chinese are busy killing your elephants for tusks in the night while you are snoring in the same night. You want to build a huge tourism industry yet your wildlife is not well protected. People who are supposed to conserve our wild life are also busy slaughtering the animals for profit. You have given mafumu too much power over land and in that they are also too corrupt. Get your priorities right this country one day will grow . In Malawi there is a culture of lawlessness because people are never punished including politicians themselves. To look at what happens in the city of Blantyre is a shame people are building where they shouldn’t. In other countries they will simply come and demolish the structures. Why are we doing this to ourselves. If the the government is failing do we really need it?

  4. Mphatso mbewe says:

    These pipo a stupid they a jst wasting government resources,chikangawa forest is going down in a fast speed,wy my mother malawi with fedaral system all those that a greedy adzaonekera ng’amba.

  5. Wamandasi says:

    Che Atupele don’t appeal enforce natural conservation. Go around and ask communities how their environment looked like before Bakili became president ( 20 years ago). Look at Soche, Ndirande, Nyambadwe, Mpingwe, Michiru hills. Chiefs are selling land any how for habitation right on top of mountains. stop it now. Most rivers and streams have dried out. make it a law no one cultivates and build 20m from rivers and streams. Ask fake donors to finance such projects. Soon poverty will mean lack of water and we will be buying supply water from Europe. Take a costly risk to preserve catchment areas.

    Wamakala must be educated in preserving nature. provide cheaper electricity for townships that will make firewood and charcoal irrelevant

    1. Chemjambe says:

      This is not the time to start pointing fingers, as Malawians lets start to find and put in place all necessary measures to conserve our environment. Tiyeni tiziyiwala zinthu zina and move forward.

  6. Quota system says:

    Good initiative. We really need to preserve our environment so that among other things, there is no degradation, availability of water and other natural resources and tourism sector growth. similar initiatives should be there nation wide including the districts practising shifting cultivation and other out dated methods of agriculture. Thanks Honourable Muluzi.

  7. eye eye says:

    THE Q IS: WHY IS GOVT FAILING TO CONTROL THE RAMPANT DEFORESTATION? thats the starting point, find out what has gone wrong to reach this state of affairs…..

  8. ILLEGAL CHARCOAL PRODUCTION AND BUSINESS OF CHARCOAL ASK UDF, DPP, PP AND DPP MINISTERS REGARDING THEIR TRUCKS CARRING CHARCOAL FOR BUSINESS THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE DISTROYED THE COUNTRY.

  9. Madalitso says:

    On the part of government its important to give enabling environment for self’-employment enterprise and reduce escom tariffs for domestic use.

  10. Hehede says:

    Mbuzi za anthu inu, what will pipo use for energy? We. told u to speed up rural electrification programme but u r. doing nothing. Seconndly, electricity tarrifs are very high. As a result, peple are have th buy nkhuni andd makala.Also do something about Chikangawa forest. Trees are finishing as well. Burundians, Somalis and Kenyans are timber in huge trucks every day. Boma yilii phwii. You can’t do that in many countries. With federal govt coming northerners will stop pipo depleting trees. When is concession of Raily ending?

  11. Mbukavu says:

    We really need to join hands and do more on replanting and conservation of our forest reserves Otherwise we are putting ourself on an environmental disaster path In the North Chikangawa and Kaning’ina are also undery very intense pressure and need the efforts of all of us to be replanted and conserved

  12. Mwiza says:

    Starts with law enforcement then negotiations later. Operation save Dzalanyama sort of- arrest all culprits and maintain presence. Hand over forest to MDF for training, introduce. a levy to water consumers for management and community development. The funds for management to go MDF. What is required is definitive and sustained effort. – no peace meals. JUST DO IT.- THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED PRESIDENTIAL OR CABINET DIRECTIVE. PERIOD!

  13. Malindima says:

    Deforestation is a sad news. It This can only stop if there is another cheaper source of energy for cooking as most of the trees are cut down to make charcoal for cooking.
    The government can use Police to catch the culprits but this is an after effect exercise and can not eradicate this deforestation.
    My suggestions mr Minister are:
    1. Introduce Forrest Troopers to guard these Forrest’s just like we have Game Ranger
    2. Identify other places in the land of Malawi and plant special trees aggressively that will be used to make charcoal.
    3. Subsidize by cheaply sourcing natural gas to be used for cooking.
    4. Encourage all Malawians to grow trees and introduce a one week tree planting week and let champions drive this exercise.
    5. Plant special trees that conserve water along rivers and streams. This was once introduced in Malawi but is not continuing.
    6. Introduce strict laws to deal with those culprits involved in cutting trees from such places and from rivers and streams. The offenders should be punished by heavy fines and or jail terms with hard labour.
    7. Those who buy charcoal and trees fro illegal sources should not be spared either; they should be punished severely.

    We need an urgent aggressive actions to deal with this problem and make Malawi more green.

  14. Crispin Mkandawire says:

    My hope is that we have given enough strength to our forest rangers in terms of their numbers, their training, necessary equipment,, not to mention their personal emoluments to enable them carry out their duties effectively.

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