In the wee hours of Thursday, Rumphi Forestry Department confiscated 106 bags of charcoal which are said to be coming from Engucwini in Inkosi Mtwalo in Mzimba.
District Forestry Officer Gift Nyirenda confirmed the development.
Nyirenda said that the department received a tip that there is a car carrying bag of charcoal from Engucwini to Mzuzu via Rumphi.
He further continued that they planted a check point at Rumphi Boma.
“We decided to mount a check point at Rumphi Boma and we managed to apprehend 106 bags of charcoal,” said Nyirenda.
According to Nyirenda, charcoal burning is a lucrative business which is influenced by communities’ lack of energy sources and lack of permanent efforts to end the malpractice.
Nyirenda continued that that the suspected charcoal dealers are in custody and they are identified as Angelina Munthali and Violet Phiri hail from Chivwamba area Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtwalo in Mzimba.
The suspects have been fined K200, 000 each.
He however applauded the community for reporting the matter to the relevant department saying it is a sign that communities are responding positively to awareness campaigns that have been taking place in the district.
“It seems people are seeing and feeling the effects of deforestation nowadays because they are able to report whenever they find anyone producing or involved in charcoal business,” he said.