MPS Concedes Contributing to Degradation of Forests

The Malawi Prison Services (MPS) has conceded that it is contributing to environmental degradation in the country through the use of fuel wood when preparing meals in its correctional facilities.

However, spokesperson for the service, Chimwemwe Shaba, has told Zodiak Online on Wednesday that through the service’s strategic plan, most prison stations switched to new methods of cooking which does not contribute to environmental degradation such as biogas and use of electric pots.

Shaba said there are only few prisons which are using firewood when preparing meals.

For instance, Shaba says Mulanje and Mangochi prisons use biogas technology and prisons that solely depend on firewood partnered with district councils to establish tree nurseries to replenish the degraded forest reserves.

He said: "As Malawi Prison Services (MPS) we are committed to ensure all correctional facilities are using new measures to help in mitigating of depletion of trees in the country."

Environmental rights activist, Maloto Chinkombero, has challenged homeland security ministry to work with the department of forestry to help in replenishing degraded forests in the country.

Chinkombero added that prisoners can significantly help in managing forests if the two departments work together.

Malawi has 23 prisons, which include 4 central prisons and 19 district prisons, with total prison population of over 14,000 inmates.

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