Inkosi Mabilabo fights for community economic empowerment

Mzimba Chief, Inkosi Mabilabo has coaxed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating in his area to seriously consider implementing strategic programs which can alleviate poverty among his subjects.

Inkosi Mabilabo fights for community economic empowerment

Inkosi Mabilabo made the appeal this week during district launch of the tree planting season held at Santa Roman Catholic Church in the area of Senior Chief Mabilabo, in the district.

The tree planting exercise was co-organized by Mzimba District Forestry Office and Total Land Care (TLC), an organization which is implementing a five year Norwegian funded Management for Adaptation to Climate Change Project in the area.

Inkosi Mabilabo said much as he appreciates implementation of assorted development projects in areas of infrastructure, afforestation, land resource management, environment conservation and food security, there was need for NGOs to also implement programs that would directly improve household income level through monitory benefits.

He cited implementation of afforestation projects which could contract community members to grow tree seedlings for sale, as one way of economic empowerment to the people.

“Let the community members grow tree seedlings so that implementing NGOs buy them so that the same people plant them in project impact areas. This will improve income levels of the people engaged in the project activities,” pleaded Mabilabo.

Senior Chief Mabilabo then took a swipe at some NGOs which are used to importing materials from other areas for activities taking place in his area.

He cited procurement of tree seedlings from other districts while people in his area have capacity to produce them if they given resources.

Said Mabilabo: “I do not condone tendencies by some NGOs which bring to my area materials which can locally be available or which can be easily sourced by community members, such as tree seedlings, for project implementation.”

The Chief, however, commended Total Land Care for implementing the project in his area which he said has empowered his subjects with new technologies in management of land resources and environmental conservation.

Earlier, Total Land Care Project Manager for Nkhotakota and Mzimba, Richard Mseka said his organization would tirelessly work with government in mitigating negative effects of climate change which he said was a result of human mismanagement of natural resources.

He said his organization would always join forces with government machinery in finding lasting solutions to address environmental degradation, especially in hard to reach areas like Mabilabo, by among other things facilitating planting of trees in hot spot areas and conserving natural forests that have survived deforestation.

Mseka said conservation agriculture, (CA) agro-forestry and fruit trees growing, use of racket stove his project is promoting in the area was an effort directed at conserving trees and environment at large.

“The project has a component of conservation agriculture, fruit growing and agro-forestry, which if well managed, will help to address environmental degradation which has seriously interfered with people’s livelihood,” explained Mseka.

According to Mseka, his organization intends to plant 889,000 trees this season, comprising exotic and indigenous trees, at Emfeni, Khosolo and Luwelezi Extension Planning Areas (EPAs).

During the tree planting season launch, whose theme was ‘Conserve Forests, Protect Environment’ 2,015 trees of msangusangu, sena, mgawa and mtangatanga species were planted.

The tree planting season runs from December 15 to April 15 annually and it is launched at national level by President Peter Mutharika

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