President Lazarus Chakwera has urged Malawians to use renewable energy sources for cooking in order to save the country’s forests.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe today, Chakwera said Malawi is losing forest cover at an alarming rate of 32,000 hectares every year.
He noted that the major cause is cutting trees for charcoal and firewood which are used for cooking hence his administration will encourage adoption of renewable energy sources.
“We will be promoting the development and adoption of alternative and adoption of alternative cooking energies such as briquettes, biogas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas as well as the growing of bamboos for sustainable charcoal production such as already started in Lilongwe,” said Chakwera.
Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo also repeated Chakwera’s call saying Malawians in urban areas should start using gas stoves for cooking.
“You can use gas worth K14,000 the whole month which is cheaper than charcoal. There are plans that in future civil servants should be provided with loans to buy the stoves. We will also work to ensure that briquettes are readily available across the country and people are encouraged to use them,” said Tembo.
At the press briefing, Chakwera said his administration is putting together a taskforce to coordinate efforts to address environmental issues, including ways of ending the 90 percent dependence on biomass in urban areas.
He also urged Malawians and business operators to use carrier bags which are environmental friendly.
Chakwera then announced that he will launch a national clean-up day to encourage participation in campaign against thin plastics and littering.
“I call upon Malawians to participate in this day as one way of fulfilling our pledge at a global to undertake climate action for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Chakwera.