Forestry minister to implement stiff reforms

Minister of forestry and natural resources envisions a country that sustainably utilizes and manages forests, water and the environment.

Nancy Tembo made her plans clear, when she met Vice President Saulos Chilima to discuss the reforms which the ministry has undertaken.

Tembo outlined some of the reform areas which four of the ministry’s departments, namely, forestry, environmental affairs, water resources and water supply and sanitation will work on.

She said among other things, the ministry has increased private sector participation in the management of forests such as Viphya, Dzalanyama and Thuma.

Tembo said there are plans to extend the initiative to other forests across the country, which include Zomba and Chigumula timber plantations.

Currently, about 70 % of the 53,000 hectares of Viphya plantations is under private management, generating K4 billion in revenue to the government whilst creating 2,300 jobs.

The ministry has however proposed a number of reforms that include the ope-rationalization of the National Climate Change Fund, the amendment of the water works Act and the institution on a total ban on thin plastics.

Chilima said he is impressed with the ministry’s efforts to develop alternative sources of energy and the veep has since asked the minister to consider encouraging briquette making so as to control environmental degradation.

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