Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change has urged people to adopt alternative energy sources and efficient cooking technologies like briquettes charcoal in order to improve environmental sustainability in the country.
Public Relations Officer for the ministry, Frank Nkondetseni said in an interview on Thursday that over-dependence on forest produce for cooking and heating, exerts enormous pressure on forests resulting in the wanton cutting down of trees causing environmental degradation.
“Scaling up availability and accessibility of briquettes as other alternative sources of energy can help reduce pressure on forests and demand for illegal charcoal and firewood hence contributing to the restoration of forest cover through reforestation and natural regeneration.” said Nkondetseni.
He added that his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy is advocating for the adoption of alternative energy sources like briquettes, charcoal pellets, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and electricity.
Commenting on the issue, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) Programmes Manager Gloria Majiga Kamoto said using briquettes charcoal as source of energy reduces waste and spur more sustainable bio resources while enhancing environmental conservation and reduction of air pollution.
“This is a diverse technology that is being employed by generating waste from different sources like agriculture and at the household level, briquettes energy is produced in a sustainable manner where they are not contributing to deforestation and air pollution”, explained Kamoto.
Meanwhile, Malavi Briquettes Investment Team Leader Aubrey Padambo said they are training people on how to make briquettes charcoal from locally available resources.
“Briquettes are the most effective, convenient, and safe source of energy in different households and there is a need for change in people’s mindset for the majority to adopt these energy sources,” Padambo said.