Environmental activist Godfrey Mfiti has commended Malawi government for closing Viphya plantations popularly known as Chikangawa forest in a move to restore the pride of the country’s manmade forest.
The department of natural resources in Malawi took the action after reports of continued depletion of trees at Chikangawa despite various agreements that were put in black and white with timber milling companies.
The forest has also been a victim of misunderstandings between government and timber millers such that millers set fire to parts of the forest after they failed to resolve issues sparking controversy among the two parties.
Commenting on the closure of the 54,000 hectare forest, Mfiti said the action will narrow down the challenges that have hit hard the forest.
“The government of Malawi has done good to close the forest in view of a
possible evaluation on how it can be managed sustainably. There is a need for an effective Public Private Partnership,” he said.
He further tipped government to take community participation and lead role in using indigenous knowledge in conserving the forest arguing that it will help build a culture of responsibility on the forest among the residents surrounding.
“Community involvement in managing forests and mountains has proved to be a sustainable solution,” said Mfiti in an interview with Malawi24.
Chikangawa forest has of late witnessed depletion of trees through man’s activities fueled by poverty and poor policy implementation.