Nsanje District Forestry office has been faulted for failing to implement a forestry policy on environmental degradation.
Sustainable Rural Community Development (Surcod) executive director January Mvula on Sunday said the situation has resulted in deforestation of hills such as Chididi.
He said: “There is serious depletion of the environment in the Chididi Hills which has resulted in erratic rainfall or flooding in the district’s low lying areas thereby affecting crop yields. Not only that, people in the area face water problems.
“Women are the ones suffering most; they wake up early in the morning to fetch water which is affecting their peace. This is the reason we have taken up that responsibility of sensitising the community in this area so that they can understand the effects of depleting the natural resources.”
Nsanje district assistant forestry officer John Banda said they have been conducting patrols in forest reserves where culprits have been arrested and prosecuted.
However, he said all stakeholders are supposed to collaborate in fighting environmental degradation as it is not a one man’s show.
Banda also dismissed suggestions that forestry officials are involved in depleting the district’s forests saying whoever has evidence should bring it forward. n