Bishop Mtumbuka links deforestation to exorbitant electricity tariffs

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 planting a tree
Pupil planting a tree

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.

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Dagobert
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Dagobert

Heavy-duty is unfortunately right, this is one of many reasons why so little foreign and private direct investment goes in the idling energy generation sector! Of course the government owned monopolist ESCOM, with all his failures , especially pleasing themself and the current government leadership, might be the major stumpling block, not only towards environmental rehabilitation even more to economic progress in general! It is high noon that we have competitors in energy sector to kiss our nation awake from this endless appearend Cinderella sleep! We are feed up to read now for more than 10 years ” Towards Power… Read more »

mtete
Guest
mtete

Problem is not the perceived exorbitant tariff. It is the peanuts people receive as wages. Even if the electricity prices were halved, and this would be stupidity at it’s best, Malawians would still complain. ESCOM prices are probably the lowest in the SADC. Do your research to confirm.

Achiswe
Guest

What is wrong with wind and solar power? Both of these methods of producing electricity could be used in the countryside as well as in towns. When is Malawi going to come into the 21st century? Firewood and charcoal are fuels of past centuries. Malawi may lack gas, oil and coal but it does have plenty of sun and wind, which are free and don’t require expensive generators to provide us with power.

Hora
Guest
Hora

The amount of money being stolen from the institutions that regulate,generate and distribute electricity coupled with the money ruling party takes from the same institutions would have made the tariffs cheaper had that money been left to be ‘re invested in power generation and distribution.

Heavyduty
Guest
Heavyduty

Mr Bishop, are you sure? Are you not aware that electricity tariffs in Malawi are among the cheapest in Southern Africa. Actually power is sold almost at cost and that is partly the reason foreign investors in energy have been shunning Malawi. You can Google and find out for yourself. Why we Malawian need more free things?

KALYOTO
Guest
KALYOTO

Zoona. Charcoal is heavily used by town people. and electricity bills and black outs are a contributing factor.
FAKE GOVERNMENT.