Paramount Chief M’mbelwa V has admonished forestry officials in Mzimba for failing to check deforestation and encroachment of forest reserves in the district.
Speaking Monday during the launch of Mzimba Heritage Association (MZIHA) tree planting season, M’mbelwa V said some forestry officials are reluctant to deal with poor forestry management in the district.
He said such tendency has rendered efforts against deforestation in the district futile.
“People in Mzimba work tirelessly to restore depleted environment through integrated approaches such as reforestation and afforestation. However, due to the dormancy of forestry officials due to financial constraints and corruption, environmental degradation goes unchecked.
“In Chikangawa Forest, you will find people cutting down trees anyhow. When questioned, you will learn that they have permits which they abuse to harm the environment,” said M’mbelwa V.
M’mbelwa District Council Assistant Forestry Officer, Staples Nyandeni, said his office is aware of the occurrence of environmentally degrading activities such as illegal farming and charcoal production in some of the forest reserves in the district.
Nyandeni said the Department of Forestry remains professional in monitoring and managing forestry resources as it has intensified patrols to apprehend culprits involved in deforestation and encroachment of forest reserves in the district.
MZIHA is holding this year’s tree planting season under the theme ‘Integration of culture through restoration of forest for sustainable development.’