Community Energy Malawi (CEM), an organization which strives for affordable and sustainable energy for Malawian communities, has expressed the need for the authorities to intensify campaign on the importance of using gas for domestic usage in order to curb illegal production and sell of charcoal in the country.
Country Director for the organization, Edger Bayani, observed that the increased activities in production of charcoal in the country are due to failure by authorities to raise awareness on the need to adopt alternative sources of energy.
According to Bayani, despite all efforts by government to slash prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), to reduce pressure on demand for charcoal, many Malawians are still afraid to use the Gas as they regard it as unsafe.
Bayani said: “it’s an issue to do with knowledge gap because currently we have witnessed government reducing taxes on LPG but still more adoption on the same is not as expected so there is need to civic educate the masses on the alternatives.”
He has also asked authorities to look into the country’s laws that govern the forestry department.
“Our laws and policies are to some extent confusing, for instant, a tree is under the forest department, when it is converted into charcoal it becomes energy so in this case there is need for the forest management and their counterpart in the energy sector to discuss so that we can address the issue.”
On February 13, 2020 Parliament passed the New Forestry Amendment Act of 2019 which has a provision for issuing licenses to charcoal sellers.