National Bank of Malawi (NBM) has said environmental degradation continues to affect provision of power supply for the country’s private sector growth.
Acting NBM Chief Executive Officer, Macfussy Kawawa said, for instance, Malawi since mid last year has been experiencing persistent power outages, which have a burden on business operations.
Kawawa made the remarks Sunday at Cobbe Barracks in Zomba when the Bank donated 22,000 seedlings worth over K3 million to Malawi Defence Forces (MDF).
According to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), the power outages are as a result of low water levels in Shire River due to deforestation.
“If you trace back to where that problem begins it’s all about environmental degradation through wanton cutting down of trees without replenishing them. So, as a consequence, we have seen persistent power cuts and those have affected us directly because we have to switch to backup power which is costly. We have also seen a lot of companies cutting down production which is not good for our economy. So, as National Bank, we want to help in better management of forests, hence our support to MDF in tree planting exercise,” said Kawawa.
He said they have joined hands with MDF, saying they have already shown interest in safeguarding the environment.
Brigadier Commander responsible for Southern Region of Malawi Colonel John Chaika thanked NBM for the support.
“We [MDF] intend to plant 10 million trees this planting season and within each unit or battalion they have a specific target, but for us we would love to plant in each and every district in the Southern Region,” he said.
Director of Forestry in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Clement Chilima admitted that deforestation is a problem, but urged communities to be supportive by resisting wanton cutting down of tress.