Schools urged to embrace tree-planting to cushion disaster impacts

YASD Executive Officer, Gerald Njanji, said most schools are negatively affected by rainstorms because their premises have less vegetative cover to withstand violent winds.

He was speaking during a tree-planting exercise at Kholoni Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Senior Chief Mlonyeni in the district where his organization donated over 700 tree seedlings.

“Schools need to plant trees around their premises to mitigate the impact of harsh weather and also as a way of inculcating a tree-planting culture among the young learners,” said Njanji.

Njanji (in boots) ready to plant a tree

Kholoni CDSS Head Teacher, Innocent Lamulani, commended YASD for the kind gesture, saying the trees will help the school to minimize the effects of winds and stormy rains in the future among other benefits.

“We will benefit from the trees as a school in terms of fruits and shelter. The trees will also protect our school from stormy winds.

“Just last year, we had classroom blocks’ roofs blown off, so, these trees will act as a shield against the wind when they fully grow,” Lamulani said.

YASD is implementing Afforestation for Sustainable Community Development (ASCOD) Project in conjunction with Permaculture Paradise Institute (PPI) to address issues that come with climate change.

PPI Director, Biswick Luwayo, said his organization partnered with YASD to facilitate the tree-planting exercise so that they could reach many communities beyond farmers.

“Since 2018, PPI has been promoting agroforestry, agroecology, and food forests here in Mchinji with farmers.

“Today, we are planting trees at this school together with our partner, YASD. We want to achieve our desired goal to reach the minimum of 100 thousand (100, 000) trees planted in Mchinji by the year 2025,” Luwayo explained.

Still I Rise member holding a seedling before planting

Members of ‘Still I Rise Tingathe’, a grouping that champions the rights of persons with disabilities in the district, were also part of the Kholoni tree-planting exercise.

At Kholoni Community Day Secondary School, 750 trees have been planted around the institution’s premises.

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