There was jubilation and ululation in Neno district, especially to the people of Kalupsa Village as government through the Shire River Basin Management Programme gave them K109 million to stop environmental degradation and restore land.
The money was handed over to the community two months ago, but the launch of the programme took place at Kalupsa Village in Traditional Authority Dambe.
According to district forestry officer Emmanuel Ngwangwa said the money will assist the community to conserve forests in the district.
He said the community will be provided with capital to establish alternative businesses rather than to continue burning charcoal.
Ngwangwa said Neno is one of the districts in the country which has been greatly affected by deforestation.
“It is pathetic and because at least each and every village is engaged in charcoal burning. But with this money villagers will be able to conserve forest and stop charcoal burning,” he said.
Neno district has eight committees that will benefit from the money, but Kalupsa has received the most money amounting to K21 million.
Kalupsa Committee secretary Sabawo Chikuni said the money has already started benefiting them because many people have planted trees in their homes and mountains.
He also said some trees have been planted along the river banks to avoid water flooding during heavy rains.