The organization’s executive officer, Gerald Njanji said this during a tree planting exercise at Mtiwa village in Chiosya Extension Planning Area (EPA) in the area of Traditional Authority Simphasi in the district on Saturday.
“We would like every rural member to participate in this tree planting exercise to pass the culture of tree planting to them, they should know how to take care of the trees. Trees have long-term economic benefits where people can get timber from them or fruits and earn money. So we are encouraging afforestation so that the communities get economic benefits from the same in the long term,” Njanji said.
Mchinji District Forestry Assistant, Joseph Mazuwa said the initiative is important as it will help restore degraded land due to wanton tree cutting and help improve the livelihoods of the rural masses.
“This is a very commendable job by YASD as the government alone cannot manage to carry out all these tree planting exercises. So if NGOs are supporting the government in the afforestation efforts we will develop Malawi together,” he said
Group village headman Mtiwa said trees are very important as they control harsh winds and also provide them with firewood as well as food.
The traditional leader, therefore, commended YASD for the effort and asked for support to cover bare land in his area.
“Currently we have a lot of bare land due to reckless deforestation, we need more of these initiatives to fight deforestation even further,” he said.
YASD is targeting three communities two of which are Msitu and Mtenthera in the area of TA Simphasi.
The organization intends to plant 1,000 trees by the end of the 2002/2023 planting season and so far it has planted 190 tree seedlings in Msitu and Mtenthera youth clubs’ areas.
YASD is implementing the ‘Afforestation for Sustainable Community Development’ (ASCOD) project targeting youth clubs and secondary schools in conjunction with Permaculture Paradise Institute (PPI) in Mchinji district.