Blantyre District Council has earmarked to plant one million tree seedlings in different areas in the 2023/2024 National Forestry Season which started on December 15, 2023 and runs to April 15, 2024.
Blantyre District Forestry Officer, Noel Moyo, told Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Monday that the trees will be planted in schools, homesteads and in Village Forest Areas across the district.
“So far, we have organisations like Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), Family Health Services (FHS) and Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) who have shown interest to help in the exercise,” said Moyo.
Moyo said last season’s survival rate was at 75 percent expressing hope that this season they will reach up to 80 percent.
“To achieve this, we will continue working with Village Natural Resources Management Committees (VNRMCs) to encourage them to take care of tree seedlings apart from encouraging head teachers to allocate one tree to allow a learner to plant and care for a planted tree seedling until it is well established,” he said.
Chairperson for Zemba Catchment Committee, Mackson Mawerenga from Traditional Authority Machinjiri in Blantyre, said his group was committed to supporting the exercise by mobilising more community members to take part in planting and caring for trees to ensure high survival rate.
“So far, we have three nurseries to grow trees to be planted in riverbanks, mountains and homes. We are going to take care of these seedlings so that they can protect us from natural disasters like floods and droughts once they grow into trees. Among other benefits, we will get firewood from the trees,” said Mawerenga.
Mawerenga Catchment Committee has arranged meetings with people in the community, through the village heads, to encourage communities to plant trees and intends to further sensitise communities on the importance of trees.