Dowa district council has appealed to communities to protect and take good care of trees planted in their catchment areas to realize high percentage of survival rate.
The appeal was made, Tuesday during a launch of forestry season for the district which was conducted at Mwanawakanakasanje hill in Senior Chief Kayembe in the district.
Dowa district council Chairperson Councilor Mayamiko Kambewa said that survival rate of trees planted in the past seasons has been low because the communities do not take the role protecting and taking care of the trees.
“Every year the district plants more trees but only a small percentage survive. This is because the communities do not take an initiative of taking care of them. Therefore, we are encouraging you all to always protect these trees from any forces that might disturb their survival,” he said.
Kambewa further said that the council is running some programs like Climate Smart Enhanced Public Works Program where communities are implementing environmental restoration activities like afforestation at an incentive from government.
“There is Climate smart program where the communities do receive some wages after working in the catchments taking care of trees. This is very important because members are encouraged to work due to those incentives.
“However, the most important thing is that communities are getting the knowledge on how they can protect the environments and how to do that,” he said.
In his remarks, Group Village Headman Thumbi thanked the council for launching the exercise in the area and assured the council that communities around are now aware of the importance of taking care of trees.
“From now, community members will be in the forefront in protecting these trees to grow in order to mitigate some climate change effects,” he said.
So far Dowa has already planted 50 thousand trees from the targeted 2. 5million in this season.
This year’s forestry season falls under the theme “Forest Innovation in action: Restoration for sustainable tomorrow”.