Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) and Northern Region Police Headquarters have joined forces to curb destruction of Kaning’ina Forest which has affected water supply in Mzuzu City.
Kaninginia Forest is NRWB’s catchment area, but people are cutting down trees for firewood or charcoal.
Both NRWB public relations officer Edward Nyirenda and Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola confirmed the partnership aimed at protecting the forest and also avoiding a serious water crisis. Nyirenda said board’s services have been compromised as siltation is leading to lowering of water levels in Lunyangwa Dam, its source of water.
“The law does not forbid people from fetching fire wood, but forbids them from cutting down trees. However, people cut down the trees, with some even bringing trucks to take them,” he said.
Nyirenda said NRWB is now funding the revamping of community policing structures in areas surrounding the forest to enhance protection.
He said: “We want people to appreciate the importance of having the forest. We are appealing to the public to refrain from destroying the forest.”
Chapola said the police are committed to protecting the forest. He said community policing structures have been put in place to sensitise people to protect the forest.
In recent weeks, Mzuzu City has been experiencing water shortages due to low water levels in NRWB’s Lunyangwa Dam.