Encroachment Worsens at NRWB Catchment Area in Mzuzu

There is continued destruction of the ecology in Kaning’ana Forest that stretched between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay despite several interventions to protect a training base for the Malawi Defense Force (Moyale Barracks) and a catchment area of the Northern Region Water Board therein.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change Public Relations Officer Frank Nkondetseni has told Zodiak that the government is intending to deploy more forestry rangers in the forest aimed at saving the last of it from encroachers.

"Government acknowledges problems hitting forest reserves in the country including Kaning’ina. One issue we have noted is the shortage of game rangers to man these protected areas. But we will soon deploy more of them as a measure of reducing the problem,” said Nkondetseni.

Efforts to protect the Kaning’ina Forest, like the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change and the Malawi Defense Force to use it as an army training ground, have not stopped encroachers from still cutting down trees for charcoal production and the opening of farming fields, especially on the Nkhata-bay side of the forest.

The Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) once warned that putting pressure on its catchment area will likely cause massive water shortages in a few years to come for residents of the northern region city and surrounding areas.

Environmental commentator Mathews Malata has advised the government to be firm in implementing plans to protecting forest reserves in the country.

Said Malata: "It is unfortunate that government takes time to implement measures of protecting the environment in the country.”

For a long time, the Kaning’ina Forest Reserve has been a source of charcoal for residents of Mzuzu and surrounding areas where most people use unsustainable means of energy.

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Last modified on Thursday, 21/07/2022

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