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LWT Tips Communities on Invasive Alien Species

Nampuntha Nampuntha - pic by Ronnex Chiwanda

The Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) has warned communities living around Mulanje mountain reserve to be on high alert on the invasive alien species which are spreading and choking aquatic life besides affecting agricultural production in the process.

The Trust’s Campaigns Manager, Samantha Nampuntha, has told Zodiak Online Friday that there is need for concerted efforts among community members and the department of forestry to help in identifying the species in their respective areas.

Nampuntha said local leaders should encourage their subjects to uproot invasive alien species which are choking other plants to grow.

“Invasive alien species are dangerous because they disturb our biodiversity, so community members living around the forest reserve should be on high alert to avert further spread of the unwanted species,” said Nampuntha.

Sub Traditional Authority (STA) Nyambalo said chiefs have already started conducting sensitization meetings to ensure that their subjects are aware of the same and its impact to the environment.

“We have agreed to uproot some of these unwanted plants such as maheji, some fish ponds lose water early because of these invasive alien species,” said STA Nyambalo.

On his part, chairperson for Phalombe district council, Benard Komwa, said the council will work with organizations championing the fight against invasive alien species.

He however, asked the government to address the shortage of forestry officers to effectively execute their operations in the district.

Invasive alien species (IAS) are animals and plants that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found, negatively impacting the native biodiversity, eco-system services or human well-being.

Some of the invasive alien species include common lantana (Maheji), Himalayan raspberry (Nkandankhuku) and Bracken fern (Tambala) among others.

Wildlife Environment Society of Malawi (WESM) in partnership with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has enhanced sensitization meetings on the dangers of invasive alien species in their respective areas in Mulanje and Phalombe among other districts.

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