Minister of Forest and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo has bemoaned the worrying rate at which Malawi is losing its forests due to cutting down of trees and urged people to find alternative way of generating income other than burning charcoal.
Tembo said this in Lilongwe in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Masumbankhunda when she presided over the handover ceremony of materials which will be used for raising seedlings to be planted by the communities in their designated areas to conserve the environment which is being degraded at faster rate.
Lilongwe Water Board donated the materials in the area in order to protect the Kamuzu Dam catchment area which is being heavily deforested.
Equipment donated to TAs Masumbankhunda and Masula included 160 polythene tubes, 100 wheelbarrows, 200 watering cans, 100 shovels, 40kg mthethe, 40kg mtangatanga, 40kg m’bawa, 40kg msambamfumu, 40kg kesha.
Minister Tembo applauded LWB for the swift response to the request that was made by the TA’s to assist with the materials.
“This is the 10th year that LWB has been supporting communities in the catchment area. This is very commendable,” she said.
She was deeply concerned at the rapid rate at which trees are disappearing in the area through wanton cutting cutting down of the trees and warned the communities that if this continues, it will affect the levels of water in both Kamuzu Dam I and II
“I urge chiefs in this area to ensure that communities are discouraged from the bad behaviour.”
She said there is need for the communities to rally behind LWB as the board is preserving Kamuzu Dam so that it is able to efficiently supply water to more households.
The forestry ministry then adopted Bamboo as one of the trees to be used in restoring Dzalanyama Forest.
The Minister said they have targeted Bamboo because of various important products that can be made from it thus urged people to follow the example in order to economically benefit from it other than concentrating in burning charcoal.
She also encouraged the communities to utilize Dzalanyama Forest into venturing in bee keeping, pledging to offer the expertise for this type of farming.
“My team at the Ministry is ready to come here and train you because If this area continues losing trees, it will become a desert and have negative effects,” she said.
She then asked LWB to continue supporting the communities for their benefit and protection of the environment against the adverse effects of climate change.
“In the same vein, let me assure you, that it is in the Government’s interest to see that every citizen is taking part in protecting our environment.”
The Minister appealed to the communities, through the traditional leaders to ensure that the materials donated serve the intended purpose.
Both Member of Parliament for the area, Peter Dimba and TA Masumbankhunda commended LWB for the donation, saying it will go a long way in addressing effects of climate change.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :