Authorities confiscate charcoal, timber in Zomba

Zomba district forestry officials and the police have confiscated over two hundred bags of charcoal and timber during a law enforcement exercise in the district.

Zangazanga (L) points at the confiscated timber.
Zangazanga (L) points at the confiscated timber.
Some of the confiscated charcoal
Some of the confiscated charcoal

Most of the forest products confiscated are door and window frames from Songani and Malosa believed to have been illegally obtained from the Zomba-Malosa Forest Reserves.

Speaking in an interview, Zomba district forestry officer Eric Zangazanga said the exercise was aimed at saving the remaining
natural resources in the forest reserves.

“We have a big challenge because this charcoal and timber business involves local people whom we fail to police due to understaffing and underfunding in our department. However, the users remain those people who stay in urban areas.

“The trees have been depleted in Zomba Mountain which will, in the near future, result in everybody, including the government paying the cost of mismanagement which has also significantly contributed to climate change,” he said.

Zangazanga added that if the trend continues, there will be a lot of soil erosion, reduction of water levels and siltation in rivers
resulting in low inflow into Lake Chilwa, a development which he said, will affect government plans of introducing irrigation farming to the communities.

He said his office will enforce measures of conserving forests and trees by involving community leaders in order to moderate the effects of climate change.

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