The Department of Forestry on Wednesday impounded 10 trucks carrying timber and charcoal at Dzalanyama Forest Reserve.
The trucks have since been stationed at Central Region Forestry headquarters.
Central Region Forestry deputy manager Alick Mitawa described the development as worrisome.
“We were sad to see trucks carrying timber and charcoal coming out of the forest,” he said.
Mitawa said government, with the help of Malawi Defence Force, has trained full-time armed forest rangers to patrol the forest.
He also said government has pumped in K150 million for the ongoing operations.
“We are geared to scale down illegal production of charcoal and timber milling,” he said.
Besides being an eco-system, Dzalanyama is a catchment area for Lilongwe River. Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) taps water to supply to the capital city and other surrounding areas.
In a separate interview, Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) environmental expert Wilfred Kadewa said although government is doing its best to protect the forest, it has become a challenge for policies and measures to be implemented because of an increase in population and poverty.
“So, it is difficult to curb charcoal burning and timber milling because the demand for the natural resources is high in the country,” he said.
However, in March this year, the Department of Forestry and other stakeholders planted exotic trees in the forest to help restore the forestry reserve.
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve covers about 98 000 hectares and is a basket of a wide range of forest resources and safe drinking water through LWB.