By Maxwell Kudzala:
Mangochi District Council Wednesday officially launched the 2021/2022 Forestry Season in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Ntonda where 288 trees seedlings were symbolically planted to set the pace under the theme ‘Health Trees, Forests, Economy and People’.
In an interview with Acting Deputy Forestry Zone Manager for the Eastern Region, Victor Lusaka said Mangochi plans to plant 1. 5 million tree seedlings this rainy season.
He said there was need for intensification of forest regenerations in hilly areas and other places where deforestation took place.
Mangochi District Council Chair, Councillor, Scorch Mathews asked people in the district to plant and care for the trees to prevent natural disasters saying most of the disasters are influenced by destruction of forests.
“We thank District Forestry Office and all partners for holding the wonderful event because natural resources are vital in our lives. Let me ask everyone, old and young to protect our trees because they help us to prevent natural disasters as long as we don’t cut down them carelessly,” he said.
A representative of TA Ntonda said that every traditional leader has the responsibility of banning charcoal production and conserving forest areas.
He asked government to deploy more forests guard at Phirilongwe forest area saying protecting the area with one or two forest guards was impractical due to its vastness.
“A lot of people find it easy to go into the Phirilongwe forest and cut down trees and produce charcoal to an extent that people travel from other areas and camp in the forest simply because there is only one forest guard,” Ntonda added.
Care Malawi, Emmanuel International through Titukulane Project, International Food Policy Research Institute , Water Aid, NASFAM, Save the Children and the Malawi Red Cross Society supported the Mangochi District 2021/2022 District Forestry Season launch.
In the 2020/2021 Forestry Season, Mangochi District recorded 76 percent trees survival rate from the 3, 025,000 tree seedlings which were planted in the season.
In Malawi the National Forestry Season starts from 15th December to 15th April and a statement from the Department of Forestry issued on 15th December in 2021 disclosed that Malawi plans to plant 40 million tree across the country.