Member of Parliament for Dedza North West, Alekeni Menyani has urged government to handover Dzalanyama Forest Reserve to Malawi Defence Force (MDF) as a strategy of protecting the almost depleted plantations from illegal charcoal producers.

Menyani made the remarks after different stakeholders continued to express their concerns on the alarming destruction of timber plantations due to a thriving charcoal business.

The only option remaining is to turn the forest into a training base for the soldiers suggested the MP.

“With each passing day the forest reserve is getting bare. There is need for a short term measure to save the few remaining trees or else the whole area will be a desert in no time. My proposal is that the interim the army should be deployed and permanently take over the forest to flush out the
charcoal business people who have camped right in the forest,” said Menyani.

This is not the first time that the parliamentarian gave such an opinion as he also suggested the very same idea in 2012 but however was not taken seriously.

Menyani fears that at the rate at which deforestation is taking place, by end of next year the whole woodland would be depleted.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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