Mtakataka communities urged to restore forests and protect the environment

Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza district says unity is vital towards restoring forests and protecting the environment.

Forestry official assist Senior Chief Kachindamoto in planting a tree

Speaking during the 2018 Tchanga Irrigation Scheme tree planting launch at Chikaola, Group Village Headman Kakhome in his area, Kachindamoto says there is need for unity towards the fight against effects of climate change by afforestation for buffer zones protection.

“The Importance of planting trees is well known, even children at kindergartens knows about it, however, it is sad that some parents need to repeatedly be reminded of its usage.It is important to love our country regardless of politics, religious affiliations and the work that everyone does in order for afforestation to be achieved,” says Kachindamoto.

The Senior Chief who has put bylaws for her subjects to stop charcoal burning and selling in market places and that everyone found guilty shall be penalized.

The function is part of this year’s National Tree Planting Season whose theme is “Restore Forest: Protect the Environment”.Chikaola is a community situated at Tchanga Irrigation Schemes’ water intake and the scheme supports 308 households in enhancing food security.

Tchanga tree planting exercise is part of the Comitato Internazionale Per Lo Sviluppo Dei Popoli (CISP) project called, ‘Enhancing Food Security through Small-Scale Irrigation in Malawi.’

The project is in support to the implementation of the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp) and the Green Belt Initiative (GBI) which is aimed at development of medium scale irrigation schemes.

The tree planting exercise aimed at creating vegetative cover in the buffer zone of Nadzipululu River to prevent further siltation of the water body which is the main reservoir for Tchanga Irrigation Scheme an average area of 154 hectares. On the day, 1000 trees were planted by communities, chiefs, government officials including men and women in uniform (Malawi Police Services).

CISP Programme Manager, Moses Ngwalo says for the scheme to be effective there is need for running water in Nadzipululu River hence the need to plant trees in the buffer zone.

“We are expected to plant 167,000 trees this year. These trees would help to prevent further siltation along the river banks of Nadzipululu but also these trees would help in our daily lives,” says Ngwalo.

When asked if monitoring mechanism has been put in place for the planted trees survival, Assistant Forestry Officer for Dedza district – Blessings Chingaipe says ‘As a district we are planning to plant One Million – Five hundred trees (1,000.500) and it is not only planting alone but we are also putting everything possible that we have to monitor each and every management activity that will deal with the management of these trees.

“We are going to assess the survival rate of these trees at least to establish out of the planted trees how many have survived. This will help us to plan ahead of what have been the problems or challenges in the affecting this survival rate. So we will make sure that village management natural resources committee in different areas are really strengthened and they should help us to make sure that these planted trees are well managed, well weeded and well protected from animals to make sure that we achieve high survival rate,” says Chingaipe.

It is sad to note that we are losing about 2.8 per cent of our forest annually which translate to a huge hectare of our forest in Malawi and this is not pleasant news because if we continue with this loss we are going to lose a huge forestry which will affect our livelihoods.

It is therefore important that we reverse this loss at least to maintain the glory of our forest.

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