President Professor Peter Mutharika has said his government would remain resolved to making Malawi green again as one way of restoring the country’s natural resources, especially forests.
Mutharika made the commitment on Monday during the launch of the 2017/18 National Forestry Season at Mwanza Catholic Primary School ground in the area of Traditional Authority Nthache in the district.
“This is why I am deliberately putting on a green shirt to underscore the point of making Malawi green and ever green like it was the case before we created all the deforestation,” Mutharika added.
The Malawian leader said the importance of trees to human life could not be overemphasized since they were a source of rainfall and also prevent natural disasters such as floods.
Mutharika, therefore, deplored the tendency of setting bushfires, describing such practices as harmful to environment.
On this point, Mutharika hailed the private sector such as Airtel Malawi for taking a positive role in assisting government to restore the natural environment.
“I would like to commend Airtel for donating K4.5 million towards this year’s planting season. They have also provided 34,000 seedlings which will be planted across the country,” he said.
He, therefore, asked other partners to emulate the example set by Airtel in an effort to make the country green once again.
Commenting on national development agenda, the Malawian leader assured people in the country government has lined up a number of development programmes to be implemented in different parts of the country to improve the quality of life for its people.
He reminded Malawians of the achievements government has made in infrastructure development, citing the construction of Chapananga–Mwanza and Tsangano–Neno roads, and in health and education among other sectors.
On this note, Mutharika appealed for patience from Malawians, noting that development was a gradual process.
However, Mutharika said there are some people who would want to promote personal agenda under the guise of religious groupings by influencing others to demonstrate against his government.
“We will not allow anyone to take government through the back door. If anyone wants to rule this country they should wait for democratic elections in 2019. For now I will not accept lawlessness because that is not acceptable in any democratic environment,” he warned.
He also said his administration has instituted different forums where communities can seek support should they feel that their rights have been infringed by anyone.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi hailed the President for championing the cause of restoring natural resources, particularly forests as demonstrated in his leadership during the launch.
Masi disclosed that at least 60 million seedlings have been targeted to be planted this season nationwide.
“As you all may be aware, this is an annual event whose aim is to emphasize the importance of natural resources and forests in general. 60 million trees have been earmarked to be planted this year alone,”
Masi said, adding that Malawi was part of the Global Environmental Campaign to afforest 4.5 million hectares.
At the function the President and the First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika planted two mbawa and tangerine trees each. The theme for this year’s planting season is: ‘Restore forests – protect the environment.’