Parliamentary committee boosts Ngoni chief forestry initiative

Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change in partnership with Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust on Monday launched the planting of 5000 tree seedlings at Kaonda Primary School in Ntcheu District, effectively boosting the implementation of an ambitious forestry recovery initiative by Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V of the Maseko Ngonis.

Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change, Welani Manasseh Chilenga, plants his tree
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust Official Yolanda Ng’oma plants a tree
Members of Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change pose with Inkosi Gomani and other community members

Gomani rolled out an afforestation program which ensures that all schools, senior chiefs, traditional and sub traditional authorities and group village and village heads under his jurisdiction have woodlots where various trees would be planted in order to restore lost forests.

The Paramount Chief reigns over an area which stretches across eight districts in Malawi.

He has put in place a committee which helps him to source resources and mobilizes communities and learners to participate in the tree planting program so that the initiative is being implemented seriously.

The 5000 tree seedlings, according to Natural Resources and Climate Change committee Chairperson Werani Chilenga, have been bought by Escom as compensation for the committee’s 5000 trees the power distributor cut down at Mtandire in the Capital Lilongwe in order to install its power supply lines.

Chilenga said Escom in partnership with Lilongwe City Council did not consult when cutting down those trees, a development which forced his committee to demand compensation from the power utility body.

“Now that Escom has finally obeyed our demand to replace the trees, we decided to come here at Kaonda Primary School to support Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V for the keen interest he has in conserving natural resources. Other chiefs must emulate this if Malawi is to restore her natural resources,” said Chilenga.

Escom’s Spokesperson, Innocent Chitosi, confirmed that the company had indeed bought the new tree seedings, realizing that proper management of natural resources is crucial in generation of electricity.

“We are sure we will be able to look after these trees in partnership with communities around this school. We will also help and contribute to the success of Paramount Chief Gomani’s woodlots initiative,” said Chitosi.

And in his remarks, Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V confessed that he is proud to have started this program, saying schools and communities around his palace, Inkosini, are being initially targeted.

“We are complementing government efforts in restoring our lost forest reserves. And if we are finally able to achieve this, we would address problems of soil fertility, water retention and climate change,” he said.

Gomani has since named his forest reserves and woodlots in the districts of Ntcheu, Dedz, Mwanza, Neno, Thyolo, Mangochi, Lilongwe and Balaka as Nkosini Forest Reserves.

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