Members from Rotary Club of Lilongwe on Tuesday afternoon took time off their busy schedules to take part in a tree planting exercise along the new tarmac road connecting Mchinji and Paul Kagame roads’ roundabouts.
The exercise, according to president of the club Sophie Kalinde is part of an environmental project the organization has been running for the last couple of years.
“Protection of the environment is one of our focus areas and every year we plant trees in Lilongwe city. Last year we planted over 3,500 trees which we bought using funds donated by Press Trust and TNM and this year we got another donation from Press Trust, which we have used to source the same number of tree seedlings.
“We expect that by March this year, we will have planted about 5,000 trees as we are still sourcing funds for the project,” said Kalinde, who was being flanked by deputy chairman of the project committee Alfred Mwambira.
The club president, however, bemoaned the practice by some city residents to remove the tree seedlings.
She urged Lilongwe City Council, through its Parks, Recreation and Environment department to ensure the planted trees are protected from irresponsible citizens.
Director of Parks, Recreation and Environment at Lilongwe City Council Allan Kwanjana, whose department has partnered with the Rotary club in the project expressed hope that the trees will be protected this time round.
“We really have a problem that whenever these trees are planted, they don’t survive because of some unscrupulous residents but this time we are optimistic that the trees will survive. With the presence of Councillors we believe there will now be a sense of ownership amongst community members because these Councillors will be engaging with community members and block leaders on the importance of conserving the trees.
“People also have to learn from the problems of floods the country is experiencing. Even cities like Blantyre have not being spared and the main contributing factor to these problems is the cutting down of
trees,” said Kwanjana.