More Planting – Little Care.
As the tree planting season continues, people have been asked to plant trees and take good care of them in the process.
Vice president of Zomba Press Club, Tiyese Monjeza issued the appeal at the end of a tree planting exercise which the club conducted in collaboration with Southern Region Water Board-SRWB.
He said a lot of trees are planted every year but few survive which puts the country’s environmental fight at a standstill.
“Taking care of trees is the right thing the country has to do now, every year about 3 million trees are planted but the survival rate is pathetic since they are abandoned after being planted, after planting there is a need to follow up so as to take care of them,” he said.
Monjeza asked community leaders to be vigilant and encourage their subjects in taking care of the trees.
“We will plant and go, but the communities have a duty to take care of the trees because the trees are in their area, they have to make sure they survive,” Monjeza said.
In her remarks, Southern Region Water Board Chairperson Samson Kawalazila said they planted trees to make sure they bring back the green environment.
“Water is life, but without trees, there will be scarcity of water so we thought of planting trees near our dam so that we can still harvest water with no problem, if we do not have trees, all the valleys and small dams will dry up and then the water board will experience acute water shortage,” said Kawalazila.
Kawalazila said communities must be sensitized to take care of trees and the surrounding plantation.
“A lot of trees are planted every year but they die because most communities do not have the sense of duty to take care of the trees which is a major challenge,” said Kawalazila.
He also disclosed that the board will plant 100,000 trees this year of which 70,000 will be planted around Mulunguzi dam.
Assistant plantations Manager for Zomba district, Mathias Mkwapatira expressed concern of lack of workers in his
department as one of the reasons the trees are not being taken cared of.
“We have few labourers which is making our department fail in taking care of the trees planted. However, the involvement of stakeholders will help our department towards taking good care of the trees,” said Mkwapatira.
Zomba city Mayor, Councillor Davie Maunde said he was delighted that the city will have 100,000 more trees this year.
He pledged support to SRWB in training communities on tree caring. In a separate interview, Yasin Limu who led a team of Muslim youth in a tree planting exercise also reiterated on the need of taking care of trees.
He said if the planted trees were taken care of, we could have a lot of trees by now.
“You can see the shrubs and small trees that are here, if we can take care of these they will grow and soon will be counting them as trees,” said Limu.
He encouraged people to plant more trees to fight climate change as this country is struggling to contain the change.
Malawi’s National Forestry Season starts from December 15 to April 15 every year, and this year, President Lazarus Chakwera launched the season on February 25 at Mpanda hills in Dowa.
This year’s season is under the theme: Healthy trees, forests, economy and people.