The Blantyre City Council (BCC) has warned that it will prosecute all those encroaching on fragile or vulnerable areas such as riverine, hillsides, road reserves and other open spaces to cultivate, mine sand or harvest forests.
The council’s acting chief executive officer, Alfred Chanza issued the warning in a statement released today.
“This is in force for the better management of the City landscapes, road reserves, water sources and the general environment; which is supported by national and international legislation.
“Failure to comply with this notice and other related communication is tantamount to prosecution,” Chanza warned.
He said the council is mandated to ensure protection of such areas by, among others, enforcing the Water Resources, Environmental Management, Public Roads and Public Health Acts.
For instance, the Water Resources Act stipulates that 30 metres on either sides of any stream and 5 to 10 metres of either sides of any road reserve be left free of any development to protect the stream banks from slumping and checking soil erosion.
Chanza also disclosed plans by the council to construct and develop parks and recreation areas, and reafforest riverines and other fragile environments like hillsides and steep areas.
Among several areas earmarked for restoration are Nasolo, Mudi, Naperi and Limbe streams.
“This, therefore, warns all people against encroaching these areas and those that have any material interests in these Rivers to remove/harvest such produce to pave way for the smooth running of the programme,” he stressed.
Chanza said the council will not be held responsible for any
destruction of crops or produce, structures or illegal installations
in the stated vulnerable sites.