Dowa district forestry officer Deborah Mushali has urged government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the district to establish ways of stopping illegal charcoal burning currently at alarming levels.
Mushali asked for alternative businesses for the charcoal producers to save the natural resources which are being depleted at a deplorable rate.
She said this on Monday during a district executive committee (DEC) meeting, adding that the district forestry officers’ efforts to contain the problem are hampered by the fact that the charcoal producers earn a living through the malpractice.
“We need to think of alternative business activities to stop people from illegal charcoal burning,” she said.
Dowa District Council director of planning and development Emmanuel Bulukutu asked forestry stakeholders to formulate by-laws that would help thwart illegal charcoal burning and preserve the district’s forest reserves.
Charcoal is the main source of fuel in major cities and towns in Malawi.