As government is struggling to convince Malawians to plant a tree per person every year, a woman from Nthondo Village Traditional Authority Mwadzama in Nkhotakota district has already planted 4500 trees.
The woman, Liviness Mbeza, with assistance from Total Land Care, a nongovernmental organisation that focuses on climate smart agriculture sowed 6500 seeds of which ten died. She has so far planted 4500 seedlings and she is yet to transplant the remaining 1990.
“I am planting Mtangatanga, Mbawa, Keisha, Nsangu and Nthethe trees. This selection will help me with adequate timber and firewood,” she said while attributing the success to her husband who pays workers helping in the planting of trees.
Mbeza says her passion grew after comparing the benefits a person may get from a personal woodlot to a village or group forest “a village forest may be accessed if there is consent from village heads which is somehow a delayed process”.
She also observed that there is minimum time dedicated to a group forest than an individual plantation thereby making it more profitable to have a family forest than a village wood land.
Mbeza told the gathering during this year’s Nkhotakota tree planting launch that she is ready to take care of trees until her family tests the fruits of her hard work.
“I dedicate my time to my farm and this hilly piece of land so that I inspire people who are not interested in the tree planting exercise,” she said.
Total Land Care’s Zone Manager Richard Museka pleaded with the district council to invest more on people who have interest in the tree planting and caring exercise than just involving everyone so that the campaign becomes a success.
“Much as we understand that everyone has a role to play in environmental protection and installation, the council has to accept that some people like Mbeza have the passion in that field, in such a case the available resources for instance Local Development Fund should be directly pumped into such projects.
“Most of the people who have no passion may plant trees every year but may fail to take care of the environment. The success of the passionate few will encourage uninterested parties to join the rest of the family,” explained Museka.
While urging every individual to take part in the tree planting exercise, chairperson of the district council Samson Kaziputa lamented the depleting of forests to charcoal burning.
Councilor Kaziputa issued a strong warning to security personnel and community members who receive bribes for the exploitation of Mtambwadzi, Bangwe, Malambiru and Kangamowa forest reserves in the area.
Representative of Chief Mwadzama asked the council to provide them with enough security against charcoal burners, sellers and transporters.
“Dzalanyama forest in Lilongwe is currently provided with maximum security and there is hope that it will be restored in years to come, can the council provide us with the same security?” pleaded the chief while explaining that his team can be killed with the fierce charcoal burners if they visit the site without tight security.
Nkhotakota district has so far planted 1.4 million trees and it is expected to plant more.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :