SPC calls for affordable modern cooking energy sources

Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC), Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi, has urged providers of modern cooking energy sources in the country to review their pricing and marketing strategies to make the sources affordable for all Malawians.

Chikhosi made the call of Friday when he led senior government officials and heads of independent and constitutional bodies in a tree planning exercise at Dzalanyama Forest Reserve.

He said, affordable alternative energy sources would ensure protection of the country’s trees and forests which are being plundered through illegal logging and charcoal production.

“We lose out about 10% of our trees annually through human activities like charcoal burning and this is what promoted the idea of us government officials to take part in preservation and conservation of Dzalanyama forest reserve for it is the main source of portable water for people in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Dedza districts,” said Chikhosi.

The SPC has since called on people in the country to take it upon themselves to protect and conserve trees for the benefit of the future generations.

Chikhosi waters a tree during the tree planting exercise

Concurring with Chikhosi, Principle Secretary for Natural Resources, Dr. Yanira Mtupanyama said promotion of alternative energy sources like gas would be key in the protection of trees proposing adoption of the same by the civil service which has the largest number of employees in the country.

“If we can green the civil service in terms of the number of individuals using alternative sources of energy, we are good to go as our trees would be protected and our rivers flourish with water,” she said.

Traditional Authority Masumbankhunda has since pledged to ensure total protection of the planted trees with the help of surrounding communities.

During the event, Lilongwe Water Board Chairperson, Eng. George Kajanga announced of the construction of a 5000 cubic meters water tank to ensure people from around Dzalanyama have access to clean and portable water.

Dzalanyama Forest Reserve is estimated at 98,000 hectares and is a basket of a wider range of forest resources and services including a source for safe drinking water through the Lilongwe Water Board.