Malawi MP ‘Winiko’ stops billboard project from cutting trees: Updated

In a bid to support government’s initiatives of protecting the environment and natural resources, Mulanje South Parliamentarian, Bon Kalindo popularly known as Winiko halted a billboard project that was being erected near the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) in Lilongwe.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Wednesday, at the scene, Kalindo said he was very shocked and disappointed to find a gang of men wantonly cutting down trees which according to him are an important resource that adds to natural outlook to the surroundings of City Center and need not be cut like that.

Kalindo at the scene of the cutting down of trees - Pic by Jereemiah Mphande

Kalindo at the scene of the cutting down of trees – Pic by Jereemiah Mphande

Said Kalindo: “As Malawians, we need to be patriotic enough in preserving the natural beauty of the country; it is very sad to see people destroying our natural resources in the name of temporary and commercial structures like billboards”

He said as a concerned citizen, it is very unfortunate to note that Continental Outdoor Media was spearheading the distraction of the environment at the time when government is calling for everyone to support the national cause of reserving nature.

He therefore called on all Malawians to desist from the malpractice of destroying the country’s resources adding that natural trees are the most precious resources that all Malawians should be proud of.

“As a Member of Parliament I find it very useful to take part in the process of protecting the environment regardless of where am coming from because we are all Malawians,” said Kalindo.

In an interview with Nyasa Times,  head of Continental Outdoor Media , Khwesi Msusa said the MP’s action  was clearly done without having full information of the exercise.

“Please note that the exercise being done by Lilongwe City Assembly is cutting down ELEVEN trees that are obstructing some of our billboards and has Continental Outdoor Media planting One Hundred and Ten trees (Ten trees for every One cut down) and making a further donation of Twenty Thousand polythene pockets for growing Twenty Thousand trees that have to be planted within the Lilongwe City,” said Msusa.

Meanwhile Director of Planning and Development at the council Hilary Kamera commended Kalindo for taking up the initiative in stopping the ongoing project because it involved the cutting down of trees

And in an interview Kamera said they are engaged in discussions with the developer to reach an amicable settlement in light of the protestations from Kalindo.

Director of Parks Environment and Recreation, Allan Kwanjana confirmed the development saying that the project has since been put on hold pending discussions with the developer of the billboards.

When pressed for more details, Kwanjana referred Mana to the council’s Public Relations Officer Tamara Chafunya who asked for a questionnaire which had not yet been responded to as we went to press.

Kalindo has been in the news recently propagating for the protection of Mulanje Mountain against environmental degradation through careless cutting down of trees an issue that has left him at loggerheads with the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) and other players.

Kalindo therefore called on the council to issue a stern warning on protecting the environment when projects of that nature are taking place.

Jack Masapi a Lilongwe Business guru who joined Kalindo on the scene concurred with Kamera’s remarks and appreciated the gesture taken by the Mulanje South legistrator.

Masapi said, “Any sane person cannot dispute the fact that natural resources add beauty to the surroundings hence the need to protect them at all levels. It is high time that we show the love of nature that our country has.”

He said it is not right and proper for the council to prioritize revenue collection alone without considering the most paramount factors of environmental degradation.

Meanwhile the men who were involved in the cutting down of trees ran away leaving their tools behind while threatening to deal with this reporter as he was preparing his camera to capture them. –Mana/Nyasa Times

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katherine
Guest

lets love our country and lets be united in conserving nature,i love green

Sage Buddha
Guest

While I commend Hon. Winiko for job well done, I also would like to point out that any development has an opportunity cost. That tree will eventually be cut down due to the rapid development taking place in Lilongwe.

Barton Chikaya
Guest

Tikati aMalawi timanena, anthu, mitengo, misinje ndi zina zonse zopedzeka umu M’Malawi.Munthu ndiye anayikidwa ndi Mulungu kuti alamulire zonsezi. Tsono tisaononge chilengedwe mwachisawawa aii.Dzithu dzinazonse tikuzionadzi nazonso ndi a Malawi.

Mute Gama
Guest

MPs should also take to task these road blocks that allow charcoal and natural firewood pass through after owners pay bribes. And the greatest culprit in deforestation is also the the rail company CEAR. The trains are full of charcoal form Balaka area into Blantyre. This has been happening since time immemorial! Why should the trains be allowed to carry illegal goods like this? Bambo Kalindo werengani demangayi ndithu.

Another winiko
Guest

It is true Winiko,

I do not understand as to who is responsible to stop this.

I noticed that trees even planted by City Assemblies can carelessly be cut down by civil society. Blantyre City Assembly, Tell me who cut down one of the trees that you planted along the main road in Soche East? After the first hump from St Pius junction towards Living Waters Junction, on your left, the tree City Assembly planted some years back has been fallen.
Was this done by yourselves? If so for what use? If not who did it. This is worrisome!

Wawaman
Guest

Mumachoka Kummwela Kwanuko Ndikumaka Dula Chikangawa .Pano Ndiye Wadziwa Kufunika Kwa Mitengo.Mmaso Mwanu.

Kwanunkwanu
Guest

You cannot compensate for a grown up tree with any amount of seedlings or whatever. That is stupidity of Lilongwe City Council and the company that planed this. Simply, you stupid people, don’t cut our trees

Chalaka Bakha nkhuku singatole
Guest
Chalaka Bakha nkhuku singatole

Apite akaletsenso ku Nothern Malawi Republic. Atumbuka anawononga mitengo yonse ku Chikangawa. Kudya mitengo yonse kumawona ngati mizimbe

Joisi pa side meeting
Guest
Joisi pa side meeting

Wamisala anaona nkhondo! Winiko should be commended for his patriotism.

Tsotso
Guest

Don’t blindfold us, lots of trees have not yet been replaced in Chikangawa, go ahead Winiko go!

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