Ntchisi District Council has disclosed that it is contemplating to engage the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to protect its forest reserves.
Ntchisi forests are under threat due to wanton cutting down of trees for charcoal and firewood.
Speaking during a full council meeting on Tuesday, Ntchisi District Council chairperson Salikani Chikadza said he was worried with the rate at which the district is losing trees.
He said the district had dense forests which now are turning into bare grounds despite having forestry officers.
“We wonder where the truck owners get the permit to load firewood and charcoal from our district. We feel the Forestry Department is failing its job,” Chikadza said.
He said the only option remaining was to involve MDF to protect the forests as they are doing in other forest reserves such as Dzalanyama.
Ntchisi North East member of Parliament Olipa Chimangeni blamed the loss of trees on forestry officers.
“My house is close to Kaombe Forest Reserve and I was surprised to see a forestry officer asking me for transport, saying he had a hundred bags of charcoal that he wanted to take to town. They have let us down,” she remarked.
Ntchisi district forest officer Victor Lusaka admitted that the district’s forests are under pressure but assured the gathering his office is doing everything possible to protect the forests. n