Zomba City Council Mayor warns city residents against uprooting trees

Zomba City Mayor Councilor Davie Maunde has warned people against uprooting newly planted trees in the city, saying a law will take its course on perpetrators.

Maunde was speaking at Chikanda Township in the city Wednesday morning during the launch of the 2022 – 2023 tree planting exercise in the Likangala ward in the city.

Maunde said he is concerned with the news that some people uproot newly planted trees along Likangala river every year, saying this tendency retrogress the efforts of environment conservation and mitigation of the effects of climate change such as floods which have already affected some people in the city.  

“I am warning those who have the tendency of uprooting newly planted trees in the areas where trees are planted in different locations of the city.  We have bylaws which were set aside to deal with everyone who might be found uprooting or cutting down trees carelessly,” said Maunde.

Councillor Maunde planting a tree

Maunde further encouraged communities in various locations in the city to join hands by planting more trees in this tree planting season and ensuring that the trees are well taken care of so that they grow and increase the tree survival rate in the city this year.

“We want everyone to be on the forefront to participate in tree planting exercise and taking care of them so that together we achieve to replace trees that were destroyed in our city,” Maunde added.

In her remarks, Councilor for Likangala Ward Munirah Bakali Chitseko said her area is one of the areas in the city most affected by floods because of Likangala river, hence planting more trees along the river will help to reduce risks of flooding in the area.

Munirah said it is worrisome to note that some people uproot trees when planted along the Likangala river, a situation which put people’s lives and properties at risk of being destroyed by floods and strong winds.

She further said though the tendency is high in the area, the community structures in Likangala ward have managed to raise more than 50 thousand tree seedlings which are ready to be planted in the ward this tree planting season.

Meanwhile, Councilor Munirah has urged community authorities to enforce the bylaws which were formulated in the ward by giving stiff penalties to people who may be found uprooting or destroying trees that have been planted in the area, especially along the Likangala river.

“We are going to intensify tree planting exercise along the Likangala river because when rains come, this river bursts causing floods which destroy homes and properties. I urge members of the community to join hands in planting and taking care of these trees because will help us to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Munirah.

Chitseko (left) watering a tree planted by Councillor Maunde (right)

During the launch, a charitable organization, Malawi Relief Fund of UK purchased more than two thousand tree seedlings worth about MK2  million to motivate the communities who raised the seedlings to continue participating in tree seedlings management.

The administrator of the Malawi Relief Fund of UK Aisha Missi said the organization is committed to helping communities across the country in tree planting in order to help in environmental conservation and also dealing with the effects that come due to the lack of trees in the areas.

She said the organization has set different interventions which among others is to supervise all various places across the country where the trees have been planted in order to ensure that the trees have been planted are well taken care of.

The Zomba City council has targets to plant over 250 thousand this year.

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