Malawi Government said it will put tough measures against the charcoal burners and sellers as a measure to protect the country’s forests.Director of forestry in the Ministry of Natural Resource, Energy and Mining Clement Chilima disclosed this on Thursday during the meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change, held in Lilongwe.
According to Chilima, Government is already in the process of drafting a strategy to address the issue. He said the drafted strategy is expected to be launched in August this year.
“We are proposing that offenders should be fined or sent to prison. In the proposed strategy, we have proposed a penalty of K5 million or 10 years imprisonment,” said Chilima.
The Parliamentary Committee expressed its concern that Malawi will turn into a desert if government failed to impose a ban on charcoal burning and selling, saying it is crucial to preserve the country’s natural resources.
They also asked Government to regard this as an emergency. They said “you always handle issues at a slow pace.”
The current maximum fine for a person found burning charcoal is K20,000.