Blantyre City Council (BCC) has warned the general in the commercial capital to desist from encroaching in fragile/vulnerable areas such as riverine, hillsides, road reserves and other open spaces with the intent of cultivation, sand mining, forest harvesting or any human activity, saying the mal-practice is strictly forbidden.
The warning has been issued in a Press Statement made available to FaceofMalawi signed by Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr. Alfred W.D Chanza.
In a statement, the City Council says failure to comply with the notice and other related communication is tantamount to prosecution.
“It is hereby specified that Blantyre City Council, as a responsible local authority ensures that the Water Resources Act, Environmental Management Act, Public Roads Act, Public Health Act among others are adhered to by all Residents and the General public in the City,” reads in part the statement.
According the statement, the Water Resources Act stipulates that 30 metres on either side of any stream and 5 to 10 metres of either sides of any road reserve be left free of any development so as to protect the stream banks from slumping and check soil erosion.
As one way of restoring some of the degraded places, Chanza disclosed that the City Council will soon embark on construction and development of parks and recreation areas.
Among several areas earmarked for restoration, Nasolo, Mudi, Naperi and Limbe Streams and their tributaries and Chanza has warned encroachers to stay away from the said places.
“The Blantyre City Council will not be held responsible for the destruction of crops/produce, structures or any illegal installations in the stated vulnerable sites,” he said.