Ministry commits to air pollution fight

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining says it is undertaking various initiatives to deal with issues and activities that affect and cause air pollution in the country.

The ministry’s director of environmental affairs Tawonga Mbale-Luka said this at Mulanje Community ground on Saturday during World Environment Day commemorations, which falls on June 5.

The commemorations started with a cycling activity from Bangwe Township in Blantyre to Nkhonya in Mulanje followed by an environment march to the community ground.

Learners hoisting a placard during the environment march

Held under the theme Stop Pollution: Save Lives, the day also marked the 20th anniversary of Malawi Environmental Endowment Trust (Meet), a financing mechanism for projects tackling environmental challenges nationwide.

Speaking on the initiatives to address air pollution, Mbale-Luka said government has created an enabling policy and legal frameworks to manage or reduce pollution in general, including air pollution.

She said: “We have a number of policies in place such as the National Environmental Policy, Climate Change Policy and the Environment Management Act. 

“All these are aimed at reducing air pollution, but also reducing the emissions that cause global warming and eventually result in climate change which is threatening our very existence.”

Mbale-Luka said there are also a number of projects that government and non-governmental organisations are implementing to tackle pollution.

Speaking on Meet’s journey in the past 20 years, executive director Karen Price said the organisation has had the support of a number of organisations, including government.

“One of the main aims of Meet was to become a financing mechanism for environmental projects in Malawi and we can happily report that within the 20 years we have supported over 20 grants that target environmental issues.

“We worked on different topics related to forestry, land resources, energy, wildlife and I think this is testimony to us making great efforts to meet our mandate,” she said.

In his remarks, senior group village head Njeza said traditional leaders in the country have got a role to play on issues of environmental conservation and reduction of air pollution.

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