Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change chairperson Welani Chilenga has called on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change to promote mass production of briquettes to protect forests.
Speaking on Friday when he witnessed the production of briquettes from sugarcane waste by Youth for Life Change Development Network in Lilongwe, he said the initiative is good and needs to be promoted by the Department of Forestry.
Chilenga said it is worrisome that about 82 percent of tree cover loss in Malawi is due to the production of charcoal and firewood.
He said: “Deforestation is leading to climate change and there is need for interventions such as production of briquettes to slow down deforestation.
“It is a good idea which by end of the day will encourage Malawians to appreciate the importance of conserving our natural resources.”
Chilenga urged the Department of Forestry to work with the network to teach Malawians about production of briquettes.
He said every household should be drilled in briquettes production, saying doing so will ease pressure on forests.
Chilenga added that the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change will also engage the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly to adopt the model.
Forestry communications and advisory deputy director Titus Dzule said most of the charcoal and firewood that people use in the country is from unsustainable source.
He said: “Over 87 percent of people in the country use charcoal and firewood, they rely on charcoal and firewood which is coming from unsustainable source and protected areas which is degrading forest resources.”
Malawi is losing most of its forests to charcoal production and firewood. Majority of people in the country rely on charcoal and firewood as source of energy for cooking and as result there is destruction of forests.