Women’s Legal Resource Centre (Wolrec) has called on authorities in Ntcheu to empower women economically as one way of combating environmental degradation.
Wolrec assistant project officer Lomathinda Mtema said this at Ntcheu District Council hall when her organisation launched an environmental conservation programme in the district.
Mtema expressed concern over charcoal making which she said is most common in some parts of Ntcheu South and was a major contributing factor to siltation in Shire River.
She said: “This can be avoided if women in the area are civic-educated on the disadvantages of the business and empower them with alternative income sources which are environmentally friendly.”
She said her organisation decided to implement the project in Ntcheu because there are many rivers in the district which are part of Shire River catchment area.
“Shire River is the main source of the country’s hydro-power, so our aim is to protect the river and the starting point should be the protection of small rivers and streams that are tributaries of Livilidzi River, which is a tributary of Shire River,” said Mtema.
The programme, which is funded to the tune of K238 million by Millennium Challenge Account, is expected to run for three years in Ntcheu and Balaka districts in traditional authorities Phambala and Kalembo respectively. —Mana