Traditional Authority (TA) January of Thyolo district has urged learners in his area to be on the forefront in championing issues of climate justice as the district intends to plant 1,5 million trees in the current forestry season.
The traditional leader made the call on Tuesday during the launch of a tree planting season for this year, saying that the future of the country lies in the youths.
January said there was need for the learners to be environmental conscious and start taking environmental conservation seriously.
“The future of this country is in the hands of these children and it is very important for them to start taking issues of climate justice seriously now.
“We are adults and our time is slowly passing. If they start now, we know that they will not face the challenges that we are facing now like dry spells, floods and the like,” said the TA.
He said Thyolo was affected by a lot of issues to do with human induced environmental degradation as a result of deforestation and pledged to mobilise his subjects to start taking good care of the trees to address some of the challenges associated with environmental degradation.
“We have been experiencing dry spells due to the fact that we do not have trees. People are also stealing trees from companies creating problems between communities and companies,” he said.
District Commissioner for Thyolo, Hudson Kuphanga asked the communities to take care of the trees being planted to increase their chance of survival.
“Currently, we are not receiving rains so the communities need to team up to water the trees. On top of that, they should guard the trees jealously,” said Kuphanga.
District Forest Officer for Thyolo, Mirriam Yona said a total of 1.5 million trees will be planted in the district during this forestry season.
“Apart from community members, we have also encouraged learners in all schools in the district as well as estates to help us plant trees to reach the target,” said Yona.