13 February 2016

Malawi: Use of Stabilized Blocks to Curb Further Deforestation

The introduction of stabilized blocks in structures built with Local Development Fund (LDF) has been touted as a good step towards reduction of deforestation besides adding beauty to the community.

During the official opening of Usisya newly constructed market in the area, Senior Chief M'bwana acknowledged the new outlook to the area, saying the market looked magnificent.

"We did not have decent infrastructure as we have today at Usisya. The market has added beauty to the area," he said.

The chief, however, faultedLDF for introducing stabilized blocks at a time communities have already destroyed the forest. But he observed the innovation will prevent further deforestation as use of burnt bricks, which requires firewood, will no longer be there.

"Clay extraction increases soil erosion and degradation. Trees are cut down to burn bricks, which contribute to deforestation and air pollution. But the introduction of stabilized blocks will curb deforestation," said Senior Chief M'bwana.

There are also plans to build a bus depot in the area (Usisya) among other projects. M'bwana said if that is done, along with construction of the tarmac road between Mzuzu and the area, the latter will open up for business opportunities, especially in the tourism sector.

Speaking in an interview after opening the market, LDF Urban Development Director, Mike Moyo, said LDF promotes the use of soil stabilized blocks to curb deforestation and mitigate the effects of climate change.

"It is pertinent that we don't use the so-called red bricks because they require that once molded they have to be burnt. For them to be burnt it means you have to cut trees," explained Moyo.

He then revealed that LDF is distributing brick molding machines to almost all district councils in the country as a way of discouraging communities from using red bricks to restore forest cover.

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