Rumphi District Forestry department impounded 106 bags of charcoal in the wee hours of Thursday at Rumphi Boma, which were being ferried from Engucwini in Inkosi Mtwalo in Mzimba District.
District forestry officer, Gift Nyirenda, said the department received a tip-off about a vehicle carrying bags of charcoal from Engucwini to Mzuzu via Rumphi.
"We decided to mount a check point at Rumphi Boma and we managed to apprehend 106 bags of charcoal," Nyirenda said.
Nyirenda described charcoal burning as a lucrative business which is fueled by communities' lack of energy sources and lack of concerted efforts to curb the malpractices.
He said the arrested charcoal dealers were identified as Angelina Munthali and Violet Phiri, who claimed to have come from Chivwamba area in T.A. Mtwalo in Mzimba, paid a fine of K200, 000.
The forestry officer said it was encouraging that communities were able to report issues of charcoal production to his office and attributed the development to various sensitization campaigns his department has conducted across the district.
"It seems people are able to feel the effects of deforestation nowadays because they are able to report whenever they find someone producing or involved in charcoal business," he said.
Apart from charcoal production, use of firewood is also a huge challenge to deal with as besides cooking, the product is used to burn bricks for construction.