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Government to privatise forests

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

The government has admitted failure to manage some major forests in the country due to insufficient funds.

Deputy Director of Forestry, Nyuma Mughogho, said the department has limited resources and capacity to restore forest cover in some forests including the Viphya Plantation.

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“We have failed to manage this big forest [Viphya] because we don’t have enough staff. At one point, the government laid off some staff and generally, we do not have enough resources to do the law enforcement and planting so we are planning to continue with privatisation,” she said

The plans to privatise the forests come amid depletion of forests in the country.

The development forced the government to recently engage the Malawi Defence Force to help protect some of the fast-dwindling forests such as Viphya.

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Mughogho said the department would place an advert in the local press calling for organisations and individuals that are capable of managing the forests.

The targeted forests include for Zomba and Dedza districts.

It is estimated that Malawi has lost her forest cover by over 40 percent since 1972.

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