Malawi: Chakwera Inaugurates National Forestry Season3 min read
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Friday presided over the inauguration of the 2021 / 2022 national tree planting season and simultaneously launched Malawi Green Corps project and National Forest Calendar at Mponela in Dowa District.
The initial opening of the tree planting season which falls in December every year was met with delayed rains hence inaugurating the activities this month.
Malawi is earmarked to plant 40 million trees this season.
The Malawi Green Corps project is designed to impart skills and capacity to over 2000 youths in the restoration of degraded forest landscape across the country.
In his remarks, President Chakwera appealed for concerted efforts in managing and protecting forestry resources in order to mitigate deforestation in the country.
The president called on every Malawian to get involved and take part in forestry landscape restoration activities.
“We cannot afford to have anyone be a spectator when the very survival and sustainability of our way of life is at stake. We are already reeling from the ravages of four different tropical storms that have hit us in recent years.
“Reforestation must be part of our national defence against these climate change impacts. If we used to think that what happens to a forest far from where we live does not affect us, we cannot think that any longer,” emphasized the president.
“What happens to a forest affects what we eat, how much that food costs, how much rain comes and when, even the condition of the road we travel on, and even the quality of the air we breathe.”
Chakwera explained that Malawi Green Corps Project is aimed at laying a foundation for the sustainable and green recovery of the country.
“This project also addresses the issue of lost income and creates employment for many of our vulnerable people that have been most affected by climate change and Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
On the other hand, says the president, the National Forestry Calendar is important, because it ensures that we are engaged in these activities throughout the year.
“Not just when it is time to plant trees. Additionally, the year-round care of trees is an enterprise that will provide thousands of much needed jobs for our youth, as it is my goal to ensure that as many government projects as possible keep their foot on their pedal of the job creation drive, which is one of the three priorities of my administration,” said Chakwera.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Eisenhower Mkaka said his ministry has introduces constituency tree planting initiative in order to make Malawi green.
He added that his ministry will not only advocate for tree planting but also encourage people to properly manage the planted trees to ensure maximum survival for effective restoration of the lost forest cover.
Mkaka reported that during the last tree planting season, over 50 million trees were planted and 65 percent of the trees have survived.
“My ministry will continue to provide the much needed support to ensure that trees are not only planted but make sure that they are also well looked after,” he said.
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Rudolf Shwenk said forests remain a critical factor because they provide water and energy among others, which are critical for human survival.
Taking his turn, Dowa Central Member of Parliament (MP) Darlington Harawa hailed the president for choosing to launch this year’s tree planting exercise in his constituency.
Harawa also pleaded with government to intervene in water challenges affecting the area.
“People in this area have problems accessing water. Water is really a big challenge,” he emphasized.
In his speech Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponela described trees as an important resource that helps to deal with challenges that arise due to deforestation.
The theme for the 2021/22 National Forestry Season is ‘Healthy Trees, Forests, Economy and People.’
By Nyasa Times.