Rumphi District forestry department impounded 106 bags of charcoal in the wee hours of Thursday at Rumphi Boma which were being ferried from Engucwini in Inkosi Mtwalo in Mzimba District.
Rumphi district forestry officer Gift Nyirenda said the department received a tip-off about a vehicle carrying bags of charcoal from Engucwini to Mzuzu via Rumphi.
“We decided to mount a check-point at Rumphi Boma and we managed to confiscate 106 bags of charcoal,” he said.
Nyirenda described charcoal burning as a lucrative business which is fueled by communities’ lack of energy sources and lack of concerted efforts to curb the malpractice.
He said the arrested charcoal dealers who claimed were from Chivwamba area in Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba, paid a fine of K200 000.
The forestry officer said it was encouraging that communities were able to report issues of charcoal production to his office and attributed the development to various sensitisation campaigns his department has conducted in the district. “It seems people are able to feel the effects of deforestation nowadays because they are able to report whenever they find someone producing or involved in charcoal business,” he said.