Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Karonga, Martin Mtumbuka, has weighed on the wanton cutting down of trees in the country, saying considerable use of charcoal in peri-urban and urban areas is fuelling the iniquity.
Mtumbuka, who led a tree planting exercise at Nandanga Primary School in Mwamkumbwa Village in Chitipa district, said affordable electricity prices are a way to go in addressing issues of deforestation rocking the country.
“We are wasting time if we say we can curb issues of deforestation without looking into issues of electricity tariffs,” said Mtumbuka.
Mtumbuka argued that it is people in towns, and not villages that use charcoal.
“People in the villages use firewood. Most of them have nothing to do with charcoal. But the problem of charcoal can only be addressed if electricity tariffs are affordable enough for people in towns to use electricity for their cooking,” said Mtumbuka.
According to Mtumbuka, government must scale up efforts in making sure that electricity gets to rural areas.
He asked communities in the district to take political leaders accountable on issues affecting them including deforestation and climate change.
Commenting on the tree planting exercise, Mtumbuka said Karonga Diocese has been working on issues of climate change for a long time.
He said “earth is like a mother” who needs to be taken care of.
In his remarks, Karonga Dioecese Caritas Secretary, Mwabi Shaba, said with the ‘Intergrated Rural Development’ project they have so far planted 47 863 trees since December.
“Our target is that by the end of our project this year, we should have planted 80 000 trees,” said Shaba.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :