2020/21 Constituency Forestry Season Launched
Stakeholders in Lilongwe South West Constituency have been urged to stand and protect the district’s forest cover by planting and conserving more trees.
Deputy Minister of Defence, Jean Sendeza made the remarks Monday during the launching of 2020/2021 Constituency Forestry season held at Chadza Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) M’bwatalika.
She said each and every constituency has been mandated to plant more than 1,000 trees hence the launch of the activity.
“As a Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency, I have the responsibility to lead the reforestation activity. I chose to launch the activity at Chadza because the school has a challenge of its infrastructures’ roofs being blown off easily because of the strong winds and there are only a few trees to block such.
“So with the help from the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, we have planted over 700 tree seedlings and I have organized with the TA to lead the planting activity of more trees in each and every village. If these trees are well looked after, then the school and surrounding places will be protected," the Deputy Minister pointed out.
Sendeza said planting a tree was simple but conserving it was a challenge and therefore urged every stakeholder in the constituency to exercise their responsibility in planting and protecting trees in order to enjoy more benefits which they provide.
Lilongwe District Council Chairperson, Luciano Botomani asked chiefs in the communities to honor this activity by forming by-laws which would offer security to the planted trees.
“The launch would not only help to develop the constituency but the district as well as the country as a whole. As a Council, we have been planting trees each and every year but only a few have survived due to the rampant deforestation so there was a need for chiefs to formulate by-laws which will ensure that the planted trees are conserved," he said.
Chief Forestry Officer, Titus Zulu said government decided to engage various stakeholders including MPs in tree planting so as to recover the forest cover which has been lost over the past years.
“Government has been planting many trees over the past years whose survival rate has always been on the lower side. So this is why we changed the strategy and decided to engage several stakeholders including MPs, ward councilors, schools, and chiefs so that together, we increase the survival rate of the planted trees," he said.
Malawi is reportedly losing 32, 000 hectares of her forest cover to deforestation annually.
President, Lazarus Chakwera launched this year's National Forestry Season on December 16, 2020, through which the country will plant and manage at least 60 million trees.