Government decided to redeploy Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers back to Dzalanyama Forest Reserve in Lilongwe following the killing of a forestry guard by charcoal burners.
Forestry department spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said government officials, MDF and other stakeholders met on Monday and agreed to speedly send the soldiers to protect the forestry guards as well as the forest.
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve is a catchment area for the two Kamuzu Dams which are a source of water for the capital city, Lilongwe, and surrounding areas, but has suffered massive deforestation in recent years.
One forestry guard was killed, another one was left seriously injured and 10 others escaped with minor injuries as the charcoal traders ambushed them on Saturday.
“The government and Lilongwe Water Board have mobilized resources for the deployment of the MDF soldiers,” said Phiri.
Police are still hunting for the murderers of the forestry guard.
The MDF soldiers were withdrawn from the forest because the government said it had no money to continue paying allowances to the soldiers.
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