She said this Friday during the eight joint tree planting exercise at Katete Farm in the areas of Senior Chief Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe.
Zamba recalled that the government declared Dzalanyama area as a forest reserve in 1922 to protect the natural environment which in the long run it has been used as a water catchment area for the water supply for Lilongwe Water Board (LWB).
“As part of the process of restoring the Forest reserve, OPC, Ministry of Natural Resources, and LWB agreed eight years to annually plant tree seedlings within the catchment area as a means of restoring the lost environment due to wanton cutting down of trees over the years,” the SPC explained.
She said the 10 years plan scheduled to end in 2025 was a bit disturbed due to COVID-19 but was hopeful that the initiative would help to restore the natural environment of the forest reserve.
Zamba said over 14, 000 tree seedlings have been planted as a result of the joint tree planting which her office spearheads.
The SPC said tree planting and management need to take center stage among communities saying trees are natural and provide oxygen and sheds for them.
Zamba urged the youth to develop an interest in the importance of planting and caring for trees within their localities.
She appealed to traditional leaders and teachers to ensure that communities and schools have taken the initiative to plant trees during this year’s tree-planting season.
The SPC called for the promotion of other sources of energy in order to lessen the pressure that was being exerted on fuel word in the country.
She said the Ministry has the responsibility to promote the usage of biomass as a means to conserve the natural environment throughout the country.
Secretary for Natural resources and climate Change, James Ali said his Ministry has developed a 10-year strategic plan in order to restore Dzalanyama Forest Reserve from 2022 to 2032.
He said the strategy has a number of interventions that would help the resorting process of the forest reserve whereby communities alone would be engaged in several economic activities.
Chairperson for LWB Board, Chief M’mbelwa said the LWB intends to plant over 200,000 indigenous seedlings during the tree planting season.
He said last year the Board planted 101, 000 tree seedlings of which 81,000 tree seedlings grew representing an 82 percent survival rate.
“We want to plant the trees at Kamuzu Dam 1 and 2 and Katete Farm. The places are a butter zone for the water catchment areas for LWB,” M’mbelwa added.
He added that the Board has realized that planting trees alone was not sustainable but promoting, managing, caring for, and supporting them would help to restore the natural environment where planting was taking place.
Senior Chief Msambankhunda said all stakeholders involved in environment conservation need to fully engaged communities on the importance of planting and caring for trees in their areas.
He suggested that charcoal burners should be considered with the provision of income-generating activities for them to sustain their livelihood.
During the tree planting exercise over 3,000 tree seedlings were planted.