The Department of Forestry and community members in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chindi in Mzimba have signed by-laws to protect trees.
In an interview, Mzimba district forestry officer Lifred Banda said the by-laws will protect the forest reserve in the area.
“The by-laws stipulate that a community member will be fined K50 000 if found guilty of making charcoal or cutting down trees in the forest reserve,” he said.
In his remarks, Chindi Area Development Committee vice-chairperson Jester Ngulube said the by-laws were crucial in protecting the environment.
“It is our responsibility to take care of the environment. If we protect trees, rainfall will be reliable and our yields will increase,” he said.
Inkosana Zihlelele Nyoni urged community members to find other activities to generate money instead of making charcoal.
“We have lost forests due to charcoal-making,” she said.
With funding from World Vision Malawi, Mzimba South Forestry Department in 2017 engaged community members in T/A Chindi on forestry-related projects.