Illegal logging, Fires, Encroachment Choke Progress in Chikangawa Forest
Chrishna Das Chief Executive Officer for Raiply, which has concession to manage part of the Chikangawa Forest in Mzimba district says illegal logging, encroachment upon the concession area and fires are some of the challenges faced managing the forest.
However, Raiply says despite the challenges, it still plans tree planting trees over a stretch of a thousand hectares.
Das said this at the weekend when Raiply conducted a tree-planting-exercise in Viphya plantation in Mzimba which has lately suffered mass deforestation.
Besides the twenty thousand hectares under Raiply Limited Concession, Chikangawa Forest has generally suffered devastating deforestation with minimal reforestation taking place.
The community blames politicians and local business operators for most of the plunder in the forest as they are largely at the centre of harvesting timber in the forest.
The event was attend by four DPP cabinet ministers who also under-scored the need for people to rise above partisan politics to mitigate effects of climate change.
Ministers Jappie Mhango, Ralph Jooma, Symon Vuwa Kaunda and Mark Botoman took part in the tree planting exercise alongside Raiply officials in Viphya plantation.
“Malawi is currently grappling with issues of climate change, all owed to the massive deforestation that has left a lot of forests bare.
“One way of averting the situation is through reforestation planting trees,” said Mhango observing that Viphya plantation in particular which is now almost bare.
“It is only fair for everyone to demonstrate some level of commitment and patriotism to bring back the forest,” he said.
His information counterpart, Botomani, said unity of purpose would restore the forest; “So let’s be patriotic in spite of the different political affiliations that we have and do something for out treasure Viphya plantation”.
Raiply Malawi Limited is said to contribute around K3.6bn in taxes annually.