Chakwera on weekly briefs

MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-Environmental activists have asked Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera to keep his promise on the environmental conservation by walking his talk.

Commenting on Chakwera’s Weekly Address to the nation on Monday, Movement for Environmental Action’s Mathews Malata, said the country needs a clearcut policy direction and tough decisions to achieve thorough management of the country’s environment.

“The solutions that the President has highlighted are the very same things that we have been talking about as players that have been working in this sector. But we really need to make those difficult decisions; we need to have clear policy direction; we need to make sure we have got finances in place in order to implement these solutions that we are talking about.

“But we also need the buy in of all players; everyone, looking at chiefs, people from the faith community, technocrats, academia, the media and everyone to be onboard so that we achieve what we want to achieve.

“It’s not easy but it’s doable as long as we have a consensus that we are in crisis and we cannot continue to live like this. We need to do thing differently. So, it’s all up to us but the President has set a tone which is very encouraging; it has never happened before and we think that if the technocrats on the ground and the agency is to take up this message, we can have a better Malawi than what it is at the moment,” Malata ranted.

In her remarks, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) program officer Gloria Kamoto, said mindset change is very crucial in achieving the President’s aspirations on the environment.

“In the short term, to be honest, I think it’s going to be very difficult because a key thing that has been said is that it’s a matter of mindset change. So, it’s no longer just on the supply side, it’s also on the demand side of the different policies. And so, we need people to also be very active in terms of making these things happen.

“So, in the short term, I think it will be a huge burden on government and it will get easier in the long run as people understand the importance of different interventions.

“It will be painful. Somebody already raised that there are issues of political interference and political losses, but those are burdens that we all have to shoulder for the change that we require,” said Kamoto.

On Monday, President Chakwera, who was accompanied by Ministers of Forestry and Natural Resources and Information, Nancy Tembo and Gospel Kazako respectively, stressed that Malawians need to join hands in conserving the environment and that those who destruct it through charcoal production; among others, will face the wrath of the law.

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