Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya Wednesday spoke tough on Malawi’s leaders’ failure to police policies, that are aimed at protecting the environment, leading to climate change crisis.
Msowoya was speaking at Parliament when he opened a two-day climate change and development training for Women Caucus of parliament aimed at enhancing their understanding of climate change related issues and its effects on development.
Msowoya, who did not read his prepared speech, said leaders in Malawi need to bring practical solutions to fighting environmental degradation and not just sitting in offices.
He cited the usage of treadle pump in irrigation as one thing that compromises protection of water sources.
“This government adopted treadle pump policy. Some of you doctors sitting here commended that but you did not realize that there are laws that do not allow people from tapping water from some distance; that there are laws that nobody should grow crops, plant trees from some distance from water source,” said Msowoya.
He added: “Today someone comes and builds in front of a lake or river and you MPs see that and do nothing about it. This training must come up with practical actions to review and amend some of the laws. Let us amend laws that can allow us to catch fish from our lakes.”
Parliamentary Women Caucus Chairperson Jessie Kabwila said the women parliamentarians are geared to push for review and amendment of some laws that promote destruction of the environment.
Kabwila said the women will also promote the use of gas for cooking to prevent further destruction of the environment. She said it is wrong to arrest the poor man who produces charcoal and let go the elite who buy and use the charcoal.
“First there must be job opportunities or solutions to the problem before arresting people,” she said.
Lilongwe University of Agriculture And Natural Resources Deputy Vice Chancellor Emmanuel Kaunda, whose institution organised the training, said the women parliamentarians need to appreciate the effects of climate change and be able to make laws that would reverse the trends.
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