Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has warned that it will take legal action against industries, institutions, local authorities if they continue dumping their waste into rivers and catchment areas.
The ministry said in a statement that rivers such as Mudi, Limbe, Nasolo, Chirimba, Lilongwe, Lingazi, Lunyangwa and Likangala are the worst polluted by surrounding industries and human activities in the cities,
In a statement signed by the ministry’s secretary Patrick Matanda, government said that some industries, institutions, local authorities and individuals are still discharging or dumping their waste into rivers and water catchment areas.
“Such acts and practices are contrary to the Environment Management Act of 2017 that provides that every person in Malawi has a right to a clean environment and has a duty to safeguard that right. The actions are also contrary to the Environment Management (Waste Management and Sanitation) Regulations of 2008 and Environment Management (Chemicals and Toxic Substances) Regulations of 2008,” reads the statement in part.
Government has since asked institutions, local authorities to take corrective action by among others carry out maintenance of waste management facilities by April 30 this year.
“The department will take administrative and legal action against polluters who are found to have contravened the provisions of the Environment Management Act of 2017 and its regulations,” reads the statement in apart.
An Environmentalist, Godfrey Mfiti, said the warning has delayed because the country has three pieces of legislation which were passed in 2017 and 2008 aimed at safeguarding the environment.
“Its long overdue. It has been delayed and now that they have issued the warning, there should be action. It is just a question of enforcing the Environment Management Act of 2017. The tools are there but the daunting task at hand is making sure the law works,” he said
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