Rapid Deforestation hit Perekezi Forest Reserve in Mzimba

Perekezi Forest Reserve

Regardless of efforts to protect the forest reserves in Malawi, the intervention does not seem to be effective as the forest’s reserves continue to be depleted by charcoal burners and wood harvesters. 

Perekezi Forest Reserve in Mzimba District has not been spared from these malpractices

This was established when members of the Hora Press Club (a Network of Mzimba District Journalists), with support from Governance For Solutions, toured the forest to appreciate the magnitude of damage that encroachers are doing in the protected forest reserve.

Speaking to the media after the tour,  Assistant District Forestry officer at M’mbelwa District Council, Isaac Baloyi, said Perekezi forest is under siege and much effort needs to be made.

“Currently, the forest is being patrolled by 15  forest guards against the required over 25  firearm guards, this gives us a tough time and failing to implement effective patrols in the forest. We need a vehicle at the office to carry out intensive patrols, a development which has paralyzed patrolling activities,” he said.

On the other hand, the General Secretary for Hora Press Club, Blessing Gondwe, has since called on stakeholders in the fight against environmental degradation to work with the media in changing people’s mindset to sensitize local people on the dangers of the malpractice.  

Perekezi Forest Reserve has a length of 46.73 Kilometers and is around a forest cover of 303,937 hectares representing 29.7% of the total land area.

Statistics indicate that in Malawi, about 300,000 hectares of forest are cleared every year, which equates to about eight of the country’s entire forestland.

According to Forestry Global Watch, in 2010, Malawi had a 1.39mha of natural forest, extending over 12 percent of its land area. In 2021, it lost 14.7kha of natural forest equivalent to 5.30Mt of carbon dioxide emissions.

Other quarters have suggested that Perekezi Forest Reserve be handed over to the Malawi Defence Force or African Parks, saying this can be one way of protecting it while others say there is a need for a political will


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