Raiply Malawi Risks Closure

A timber sawyer captured in the forest reserve A timber sawyer captured in the forest reserve - pic by Hastings Jimani

Raiply Malawi Limited in Limbe - Blantyre risks closure due to shortage of raw materials.

This follows plunder of trees at Nanchidwa site in Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve, the source of the company’s tree logs.

Spokesperson for Raiply Malawi Limited, Dalitso Chimwala, says the company which has a workforce of 500 people has a 25-year concession with government at Nanchidwa site and it plants and harvest trees at the site.

However, Chimwala says for years, Nanchidwa has been hit by alarming theft of trees by some loggers; consequently, affecting timber production and other products at its Limbe factory.

“If plunder of trees at the site continues, the company will be forced to close its Limbe factory, a move that will see 500 plus people losing their jobs,” said Chimwala.

While concurring with the company’s concern, District Forestry Officer for Mulanje, Erick Mbingwani, blamed the company for failing to provide security to the site.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of Muloza Forest Cooperative, Madalitso Maulunga, says his cooperative has been restoring part of Nanchidwa Forest Reserve in support of government’s afforestation drive.

“We just plead with both government and Raiply Malawi Limited to enhance security of trees in the forest reserve otherwise all their efforts including our strides to restore the forest will be going down the drain,” said Maulunga.

The country’s forest reserves risk depletion following continued encroachment for farming and cutting trees for charcoal and timber production.

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