to address Environmental Issues
5.1 Methodology for identification of actions to address
Recommendations on actions to address environmental issues were identified
by both the 18 task forces in their reports and the local communities in
the district workshops as presented in Volume
2 of the NEAP.
The methodology for identification of key environmental issues was explained
in section 4.1 where recommended actions were also identified and ascribed
to these key environmental issues. The actions were then organized in the
following hierarchical structure, which is shown in detail in Appendix
This structure also allowed for cross references as certain actions may
pertain to several strategies.
Key environmental issues (defined in section
Focal points of Intervention, representing a resource use, or a set of
resource use practices, which may have to be partly or completely stopped,
replaced with a sustainable alternative, or, modified by corrective environmental
Strategy, which explains the nature of actions to be taken.
Actions, which are concrete and specific measures to be undertaken by identified
institutions or groups of people in order to implement the strategy.
In the district workshops, the participants presented their recommendations
in three groups:
The actions recommended in the different sections of this chapter follow
actions the local population may undertake on their own;
actions which the local population may undertake, but which require government
or non governmental assistance;
actions which Government should undertake.
Some of the proposed actions are already being implemented by various
players. However, some weaknesses have been noted and corrective actions
In the presentation of the various actions a prioritization of these
is deliberately avoided because they are policy guidelines which are all
important to address the complex nature of environmental issues in Malawi.
5.2 Soil Erosion
5.2 1 Cultivation on marginal land (steep
slopes and river banks)
188.8.131.52 Protection of steep slopes and river
Government through the:
Department of Lands and Valuation (DLV) Department of Forestry (DOF) and
the Land Resources and Conservation Branch (LRCB) of the Ministry of Agriculture,
in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will review and strengthen
legislation to protect these environmentally fragile areas.
Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with Local Authorities will promote
use of appropriate technology for cultivation of steep slopes.
Local Authorities (LAB) will:
(i) stop cultivation on steep slopes and along river banks; and
(ii) rehabilitate all degraded areas through 'greenbelt' concept.
184.108.40.206 Resettlement of people from marginal
Government through DLV will repossess and allocate all idle estate land
to the needy for agricultural purposes; and the Office of the President
and Cabinet (OPC) will initiate a resettlement project moving people from
marginal land to the repossessed land and any other land that may be identified
as suitable for resettlement.
220.127.116.11 Rehabilitation and utilization of vacated
18.104.22.168 Promotion of agro-forestry
Local communities, through the Village Development Committees (VDCs), will
rehabilitate all degraded marginal areas left by the resettled people,
and plant them with appropriate tree species, own and manage them as community
The Department of Forestry (DOF) will provide technical assistance in identifying
appropriate tree species and assist in raising tree seedlings.
Government through Departments of Agricultural Research (Agroforestry
Commodity Research Team), Forestry (Forestry Research Institute of Malawi)
and LRCB in collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and
international organisations such as International Centre for Research on
Agroforestry (ICRAF), will:
22.214.171.124 Construction of permanent physical conformation
develop acceptable agroforestry packages;
train agricultural extension staff on agroforestry technologies for
effective delivery of the packages;
strengthen farmer training to increase adoption rate of agroforestry packages;
establish tree seedling nurseries and ensure that the Rural Financing Bank
will provide credit where necessary for agroforestry programmes.
The Government through the LRCB in collaboration with Bunda College
of Agriculture and appropriate NGOs will continue to:
Farmers will collectively:
develop labour-saving technologies for constructing storm water drains,
terraces and bunds;
design and peg storm water drain, terraces and bunds in the fields (LRCB
design and peg drainage line in waterlogged areas (LRCB and Department
of Irrigation - DOI);
train farmers in pegging marker ridges using "'A' Frame" (LRCB, NGOs);
provide planting materials for stabilising conservation structures (LRCB).
(a) construct storm water drains, bunds and drainage lines;
Individual farmers will be assisted to construct and stabilise marker ridges,
align planting ridges to the marker ridges and in low rainfall areas, box
ridges will also be constructed in order to conserve water.
(b) stabilise the constructed structures with vetiver or napier grass.
5.2.2. Mono-culture, Noncontour row cropping
(maize, tobacco and cotton)
126.96.36.199. Crop rotation
The Government through:
The Department of Agricultural Extension and Training (DAET) will continue
188.8.131.52. Contour planting of all crops
promote crop rotation by farmers who are growing tobacco.
promote alternative high value cash crops other than tobacco;
the Ministry of Agriculture and DLV will continue to enforce the mandatory
four-year rotation on tobacco estates;
the Ministry of Labour (MOLMD) will make tenancy system more secure by
ensuring provision of formal tenant contracts.
In addition, individual farmers or farmer groups, with LRCB assistance
will establish vetiver and napier grass multiplication nurseries.
184.108.40.206 Promote mixed and inter-cropping by
The Government through Department of Agriculture Research (DAR) (Adaptive
conduct research on mixed cropped or inter-cropped system with special
reference to type and optimum number of crops; and
promote mixed cropping and inter-cropping including legumes (to improve
soil fertility) on all land-holdings of less than one hectare to raise
productivity, income and food security.
220.127.116.11 Appropriate levels of stocking
The Government through the Department of Animal Health and Industry
review and increase floor prices of cattle at government markets regularly;
create awareness on environmental damages arising from overstocking and
make recommendation of optimum number of livestock per livestock holder;
recommend Restocking in areas that are overstocked.
To derive maximum benefit from improved prices (section
18.104.22.168), farmers will stall-feed excess bulls, unproductive heifers
and work oxen and poor animals before sale.
22.214.171.124 Improvement of communal pastures
Groups of livestock owners with technical and material assistance from
DAHI will improve communal grazing land management while individual livestock
owners will reduce dependence on crops and use part of their landholding
to establish improved pastures and fodder trees.
126.96.36.199 Expand communal grazing land
After rehabilitating degraded marginal areas (section
188.8.131.52) chiefs, through VDCs, will:
(a) permit limited and controlled grazing; and
184.108.40.206 Keep improved breeds
(b) identify additional land which may be converted into managed communal
The Government through the DAHI will continue to:
(a) promote keeping of improved breeds for both beef and milk
220.127.116.11 Promotion of small ruminants
(b) increase the availability of improved animals; and
(c) encourage the Rural Financing Bank and other lending institutions
to give soft loans to livestock owners to acquire improved breeds or multiply
them for supply to other farmers.
The Government through DAHI will:
(a) promote keeping of small ruminants e.g. goats, sheep and
rabbits by smallholder farmers under cut and carry system; and
5.2.4 Conservation measures for civil works
(b) identify sources of improved breeds of small ruminants for farmers
to rear or multiply them for supply to other farmers.
18.104.22.168 Minimal tree destruction when constructing
The government through DREA will:
(a) review and amend the relevant Acts to restrict tree felling
during civil works.
22.214.171.124. Appropriate allocation of settlement
The Department of Roads (DOR) will:
(b) stabilise all road cuts;
(c) construct mitre drains up to natural waterways or dig soak pits
which should be maintained if and when necessary;
(d) rehabilitate all borrow sites e.g. gravel collecting sites;
(e) minimise constructing wooden bridges and instead concentrate on
constructing concrete or steel bridges; and
(f) plant trees along bare highways.
Chiefs will ensure that there is no:
(a) encroachment in protected areas.
The Government through the MFNR will ensure that there is no encroachment,
and that local communities are sensitized on the importance of protected
(b) allocation of land in prescribed catchment areas, along river banks,
and steep slopes.
126.96.36.199 Empower chiefs to sanction tree felling
in settlement areas
Chiefs will need to sanction felling of trees where dwelling units are
to be constructed such that there is no unnecessary felling.
5.3.1 Agricultural expansion
188.8.131.52. Improve land productivity
The government through the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and appropriate
(a) Improve land productivity by sustainable land saving technologies;
184.108.40.206 Introduce and promote alternative high
(b) develop acceptable High Yield Varieties, (HYVs) for farmers to adopt;
(c) ensure availability of seed, fertilizer and other inputs at affordable
(d) promote mixed and inter-cropping (section 220.127.116.11);
(e) promote agroforestry (section 18.104.22.168);
(f) promote construction of permanent physical conservation measures
(g) train farmers to make and properly apply compost manure;
(h) encourage farmers to apply organic and inorganic fertilisers;
(i) intensify training of farmers in modern/improved farming practices;
(j) promote modern farming methods for fingermillet thereby curbing
the current slash-and-burn practice followed by farmers in some areas.
The DAR will conduct research on alternative high value crops to tobacco,
which do not require use of substantial forest products for processing.
The DAET will:
(a) promote production of alternative high value crops; and
22.214.171.124 Amend legislation on leased land for agricultural
(b) train farmers in cultural practices for the introduced alternative
The Government through DLV will:
(a) review and amend the legislation on leasing of land for
agricultural use specifically to include the increase of mandatory afforestation
hectarage beyond the current 10% and appropriate penalties for non-compliance;
and enforce relevant covenants through increased inspectorate;
126.96.36.199 Diversify economic base
(b) restrict the size of land to be leased for agricultural use;
(c) acquire underutilised leased land in estates for redistribution
to the land-less; and
(d) continue reviewing land rent towards achieving equitable levels.
Government through the Ministries of Energy and Mining (MEM), Commerce,
Industry and Tourism (MCIT), Labour and Human Resource Development (MOLMD)
and Finance (MOF) will:
(a) promote mining through adequate provision for geological
exploration of mineral resources;
5.3.2. Uncontrolled bushfires
(b) promote industrial development (MCIT);
(c) promote small-scale industries in rural areas (MCIT);
(d) Intensify vocational training of school leavers to promote self-reliance
(e) identify and encourage lending institutions to provide soft loans
to enterprising Malawians for small-scale rural industries; (MCIT and MOLMD);
(f) promote tourism (Tourism Department) including eco-tourism (National
parks and forestry).
188.8.131.52 Create awareness on the negative effect
The Government through DOF will:
(a) intensify campaigns against uncontrolled bushfires through
radio, newspapers, posters and video shows including establishment of fire
5.3. 3. Fuelwood extraction
(b) formalize Chiefs responsibility on forest resources on customary
land and assist them to institute communal policing of customary forests;
(c) enact legislation against setting uncontrolled bushfires, with penalties
clearly stipulated (OOF and MOJ).
(A) For domestic use
184.108.40.206 Plant multipurpose trees around homestead
People will be encouraged to plant and tender multipurpose trees around
their homestead with technical advice from DOF, DAET and (LRCB).
220.127.116.11 Establish individual woodlot
People with relatively large landholding will be encouraged to establish
suitable woodlot and manage them.
18.104.22.168 Establish village woodlot
Chiefs will provide land for establishment of village and school woodlot
which will be managed through VDCs and school committees.
22.214.171.124 Improve management of forest resources
on customary land
Government through the DOF will:
(a) relinquish control of forest resources on customary land;
126.96.36.199 Promote use of fuelwood saving stoves
(b) empower Traditional Authorities (TAs) and Sub-Traditional Authorities
(STAB) to manage and use the resource sustainably; and
(c) provide technical advice to TAs and STAs on proper management and
utilisation of forest resources on customary land.
The government through the Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration
with other institutions and NGOs will:
(a) conduct more research on fuelwood saving mud stoves and
188.8.131.52 Diversify sources of energy
(b) identify local entrepreneurs for mass production of the portable
(c) create awareness on the advantage of mud stoves and potable stoves.
(d) train rural women on how to construct and use a mud stoves; and
The government through the DOE in conjunction with other institutions
and some NGOs will:
(a) conduct more research on use of solar energy and biogas;
184.108.40.206 Reduce tariffs of electricity and paraffin
(b) promote use of coal;
(c) train people on how to use and maintain biogas and solar energy;
(d) encourage education institutions and hospitals to use electricity,
coal or solar energy for cooking or heating purposes.
The Government in conjunction with ESCOM and Petroleum Control Commission
of Malawi will consider adjusting tariffs of electricity and paraffin in
order to promote wider use of the commodities by low income groups;
The Government will reduce the taxes on electrical appliances to reduce
prices of the items.
220.127.116.11 Accelerate rural electrification programme
The Government will: accelerate the rural electrification programme
to cover more areas, and waive the cost of provision and installation of
transformers. However, this would also require improvement in housing type
to match electrification requirements.
(B) For commercial and industrial use
18.104.22.168 Stop use of indigenous woodfuel in
The Government through the DOF and DOE will encourage woodfuel-using
industries to establish their own plantation or use of planted wood.
22.214.171.124 Promote use of planted wood for fuel
The Government through DOF will:
(a) ensure that wood fuel and charcoal are available throughout
the country by maintaining appropriate plantations
126.96.36.199 Establish demand driven woodlot
(b) train people with planted woodlot on how to make charcoal from planted
(c) encourage efficient utilisation of wood.
NGOs will be encouraged to assist in the establishment of communal forests
and Chiefs, through VDCs, will identify suitable land (sections
188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206).
5.3.4 Conservation measures for civil works
(see section 5.2.4.).
5.3.5 Inadequate management of public and
private forest and encroachment
(A) Public forests
220.127.116.11 Improve management skills
The MFNR will:
(a) recruit and train more personnel in forest and wildlife
18.104.22.168 Promote participatory management of forest
and wildlife reserves
(b) provide material and human resources required for proper management
of forestry and wildlife resources.
(a) The MFNR and Treasury should retain part of the revenue
from forest and wildlife reserves to establish a revolving fund which shall
be used to develop areas adjacent to these resources.
22.214.171.124 Create awareness on importance of forest
and wildlife reserves
(b) MFNR will continue to promote the participation of local communities
in the management of the resources.
The MFNR will:
(a) intensify public awareness campaigns through radio, newspapers,
posters and video shows on the importance of forest and wildlife reserves;
(B ) Private forests
(b) introduce environmental education in primary and secondary schools
and the University in conjunction with Ministry of Education.
126.96.36.199 Improve management of private forests
The Government through the DOF will:
(a) facilitate forestry management refresher courses; and
(b) provide technical bulletins and brochures on forest management.
5.4. Water resources degradation and depletion
5.4.1 Waste production and disposal
188.8.131.52 Raise environmental awareness and legislate appropriate waste
(a) encourage companies through DREA to raise awareness of
their employees about the dangers of industrial waste materials;
The LAs should review their by-laws to take into account environmental
problems that arise from development activities within their jurisdiction.
(b) provide incentives through reduced taxation or import duties to
companies investing in cleaner technologies through the Treasury;
(c) encourage companies to adopt waste minimization through recycling
(d) promulgate legislation requiring companies to categorize and quantify
the waste they generate and how to dispose of it;
(e) introduce "polluter pays principle";
(f) invest in conventional disposal facilities and provide infrastructure
to improve service provision.
(g) through MOLMD implement proposals on disposal of waste through appropriate
184.108.40.206 Reduce contamination of water arising
from the transportation and storage of wastes
The Government through MCIT will:
(a) initiate research into problems of collection, storage
and transportation of wastes, so as to come up with proper guidelines;
220.127.116.11 Reduce contamination of water due to improper
disposal of industrial wastes.
(b) introduce legislation for companies to provide warnings and labels
on vehicles transporting their wastes.
The Government will:
(a) initiate research into proper disposal for wastes not fit
for land fills;
5.4.2 Human and municipal waste disposal
(b) through DREA in collaboration with LAs, raise awareness in villages
on the dangers of accepting the industrial wastes on their land;
(c) accede to the Basel Convention and seek financial and technical
assistance on the country's waste management problems.
18.104.22.168 Minimize waste at source:
The LAs will:
(a) ensure that households which are not connected to a sewer
network have septic tanks or pit latrines appropriately sited;
Local leaders should ensure that all households have pit latrines.
(b) ensure that households in areas not covered by a refuse collection
service have rubbish pits;
(c) introduce the separation of different types of waste before disposal.
22.214.171.124 Improve waste collection and transportation
of municipal wastes.
The LAs will:
(a) improve the solid waste collection services, by e.g. introducing
rubbish banks in traditional housing areas including squatter areas;
126.96.36.199 Improve conveyance and disposal of wastes.
(b) regularly maintain sewers to prevent overflowing;
(c) ensure that standards for sewer construction and maintenance are
(d) ensure that master plans for their sanitation programmes are developed;
(e) intensify public education on rubbish disposal.
The LAs will:
(a) practice sanitary waste disposal methods at landfills;
The Government will undertake research to determine the proximity of pit
latrines and septic tanks appropriate to water sources
(b) ensure that siting of landfills and sewage treatment plants should
take into consideration hydrological and soil characteristics as well as
proximity to human settlement;
(c) ensure that sewerage plants which have exceeded their designed capacities
are improved by the responsible authorities;
(d) invest in affordable sewerage systems;
(e) introduce hazardous waste treatment and management centres.
(f) sensitize the general public on the dangers of scavenging at refuse
since the recommended 50 metres seems to be inadequate. Such a study
to be meaningful it should take into consideration the effect of hydrological
and soil characteristics on the recommended siting distance.
5.4.3 Agro-chemca1 run-off
188.8.131.52 Minimize. use and run-off of agro-chemicals.
The Government through:
(a) the DAR and DAHI will conduct research and promote integrated
184.108.40.206 Proper handling of agro-chemicals
(b) the DAET will:
i. encourage farmers to use organic manure;
ii. continue training farmers on proper application of fertilisers and
iii. encourage land conservation practices to impede runoff.
The Government through MCIT, MOA and MOLMD will:
(a) enforce legislation on the importation, sale, transportation,
storage and use of pesticides;
5.4.4 Sedimentation and siltation
(b) provide guidelines on the proper disposal of empty containers and
(see sections 5.2 and 5.3).
5.4.5 Oil spillage
220.127.116.11 Minimize oil spillage by vessels and
The Ministry of Transport and Communication will:
(a) not renew licences of oil tankers once it is established
that they are discharging oil;
18.104.22.168 Halt water contamination by oil from garages:
(b) regularly inspect vessels and motorised boats against oil spillage
and impose appropriate penalties on anybody contravening any regulations.
The Ministry of Local Government will ensure that LAs:
(a) regularly inspect garages and to ensure- that oil traps
are operating efficiently.
5.4.6 Water resources degradation and depletion
(b) identify alternative disposal methods including possible recycling
of engine oil.
22.214.171.124 Arrest depletion of Malawi's water
The Government, through the Water Resources Board, will ensure that
every water abstraction has a water right.
Click here to continue with Chapter 5