Appalled by the rate people are attacking Forest Reserves in the country, the Malawi will through its Chief Secretary to government George Mkondiwa lead the nation in a tree planting exercise at the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, in Lilongwe, this Saturday.
Official statistics show that trees lost in a year at the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve is almost 10-percent of the total stock implying that the forest could completely be depleted in the next 10 years if nothing is done to reverse the situation.
A veteran civil servant attributed the depletion of most Malawi’s forest reserves to the way the country does its politics blaming government’s administrations that came in when the country adopted multi-party system in 1994.
He said during the reign of Kamuzu Banda forests were jealously protected.
“It is for this reason that the Government of Malawi through the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) and in cooperation with many other local stakeholders has organized a tree planting exercise.
“The exercise is part of the initiatives Government of Malawi is making aimed at addressing the massive deforestation and forest degradation taking place countrywide, and hereby invites all interested organizations, companies and the general public to participate in the exercise,” reads a statement in part by the organizers.
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve has suffered a massive forest loss due to the serious deforestation and degradation taking place due to illegal charcoal production, and about 70 percent of charcoal consumed in Lilongwe, Dedza and Mchinji is being produced in the Reserve.
“All participants will convene at Lilongwe Water Board Head office at 8 O’clock in the morning ready for the Tree planting Exercise at Dzalanyama Forest Reserve at 9.30,” explains the organizers.
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve is the catchment area where the Capital City Lilongwe derives its water and the rate the deforestation is taking place it is most likely that the city will face water problems in future.