The Roads Authority (RA) has been fined K6.3 million following the cutting down of over 1000 trees along the Kenyatta Drive in Lilongwe.
The Kenyatta Drive is being expanded to six lanes and this has led to the removal of 1,391 trees, including 317 Mibawa trees which are said to be worth K2 billion.
On Friday, Malawi Environmental Protection Authority – MEPA fined the Roads Authority K 6.3 million for failure to comply with an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) over the project.
Roads Authority has up to 30th Oct to pay the fine.
During its meeting on Friday, MEPA board also approved an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the road project.
Last week, environmentalists threatened to take court action against the RA for starting the road project without an ESIA report.
The activists were labelled noisemakers by some quarters who also accused the environmentalists of attempting to delay the road project for political reasons.
However, President of Association for Environmental Journalists Mathews Malata says they have been vindicated.
“None is against #chitukuko and none is above the law – Hi5. The issue was/is technical and not political.
“The improved ESIA might still have gaps but the key is to learn from this blunder and do better in the coming projects. How I wish the fine was paid by the careless decision makers and not from the tax payers’ pockets. Hopefully the sustainability plan is robust enough to make our garden city more resilient and beautiful,” wrote Malata.