Phalombe District Council in collaboration with a local Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) DUnited Purpose (UP) on Wednesday launched the 2017/18 district tree planting season with hope of planting a record 1.2 million tree seedlings by the end of season in April.
The event which took place at Mianga Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Jenala added up the total of already planted trees to 750, 000.
Forest Zone Manager for the South, Cecelia Chauluka said communities have all the reasons to plant more trees after going through adverse effects of environmental degradation.
“Our memories about dry spells and floods that hit nearly the whole country are still fresh; giving us more reasons to take tree planting seriously because we know that where we have more trees such issues can become history,” she explained.
Chauluka added that due to poor rains, the country has been going through unbearable electricity power outages that have affected both work productivity and businesses.
She advised communities to avoid wanton cutting down of trees and maximize the rate of deforestation if the country was to overcome the effects of climate change currently being experienced.
Phalombe District Forestry Officer, Erick Mbingwani hailed United Purpose for championing environmental conservation in the district at a time the district had set ambitious goals to plant more trees than ever before.
“Our primary target is to plant 1.2 million tree seedlings. However, time and resources allowing we would like to pursue attain 2 million mark to make sure that within a short period we have brought back the forest cover,” he said, adding that the forestry sector would pay particular attention to survival of the trees planted this year.
Representative for United Purpose, Marie Mapemba pledged the organization’s continued support various initiatives towards environmental management in the district through provision of capacity building and resources to village natural resources management committees.
The district seeks to achieve an 80 percent survival rate for the trees that would be planted this year.
The tree planting exercise conducted under the theme: ‘Restore the forest, protect the environment,’ saw such indigenous tree species like Mtangatanga, M’bawa and Miyanga being planted.