By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

Government, through the ministry of forestry and wildlife conservation, has revealed plans to recruit forestry rangers and assistants soon this year in a bid to reduce rampant charcoal production and deforestation rates in the country.

Director of forestry in the ministry, Clement Chilima, disclosed recently during the southern region LPG prospective traders in Blantyre.

Chilima was answering a question from the participants that the LPG usage in the country could not be properly scaled up amidst the rampant charcoal production which was deemed to be cheaper and easily accessible by the populace unlike the LPG products such as gas.

The director, expressed hope that the recruitment of the new staff would go along the way to increase the uptake of LPGs as well as decreasing the rampant deforestation rate for charcoal and fuel production, therefore, reducing the negative impacts of climate change phenomena in the country.

“One of the problems that has led to an increase in deforestation and charcoal production is the shortage of staff. We therefore, plan to start training over 300 forest assistant s and 140 forest rangers shortly this year. These staff help in addressing and apprehending the perpetrators, “said Chilima

Current estimates indicate that deforestation rate in the country is at 2.5 percent in the country.

However, government has put out various measures such as the upscaling of LPGs such as gas to address the problem.

Currently, the country’ uptake of LPG is at 1 percent.

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