No Human Mercy on Environment
Human harmful activities on the environment have contributed to the degraded of over 800 hectares of land in Mangochi district, mainly customary in the past 5 years, authorities have said.
Director of Agriculture, Environment and natural resources for the district, Nditani Maluwa, speaking Wednesday during an orientation and review meeting for authorities in the district on land restoration project by Restore Africa under Care Malawi, said the results have been loss of trees, soil fertility and soil itself.
Maluwa said a recent periodic survey to understand the nature and extent of the problem of land degradation in the district has indicated that the damage is huge.
“Let me share that recently we have embarked on a process of trying to prepare our district socio-economic profile, and the information we have is that by to date, over 800 hectares have been deforested in the past 5 years,” explained Maluwa, saying the project will assist them much.
Growing population, declining land holding size per family and continuous using of poor farming methods by farmers have been blamed as some of the reasons behind the damage, according to Maluwa.
He said as the district they have also lined up a number of initiatives with the district development plan also prioritizing reversing effects of land degradation and restoring lost biodiversity.
“We are concentrating in restoration and governance issues since enforcement is always expensive and what the project is doing is adding portfolio projects that we have,” he said.
Restore Africa-Care Malawi Project Manager Chimwemwe Gremu, said through the project which started in 2022 up to 2027, they will restore over 70 thousand hectares of land in the district which will benefit over 305 thousand smallholder’s farmers benefiting.
He said their main goal is to improve resilience to climate shocks for smallholder farmers and communities resulting in improved livelihood, food security and landscapes.
“Possibilities are there that we can even do more that targeted, as we are not only looking at reforestation, but also regeneration and bringing new interventions that improves livelihood of people in communities to shift their minds to other economic opportunities than cutting down of trees,” explained Gremu.
Officers from forestry, agriculture, community development, gender and youths were among those that attended the meeting to be oriented on main issues and review emerging issues that can affect communities during the implementation period.
In the district the project will be implemented in 10 traditional authorities; Katuli, Jalasi, Bwananyambi, Namabvi, Chowe, Namkumba, Chimwala, Makanjila, Lulanga and Chiunda.