By Tiyanjane Mambucha – Mana.
Dowa District Council has called on all stakeholders to find ways and means of addressing deforestation which if left unchecked, most of the trees will be depleted.
The Council says it was worried with the state of affairs of the Kongwe Hill saying beside being a forestry reserve in the district, some other people have find their way into the forest cultivating tomatoes with wanton cutting down of trees carelessly for firewood and charcoal burning, the order of the day.
Speaking when he launched Dowa District tree planting exercise at Imfa ya tonse village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mkukula, the Council’s Chairperson, Councillor Martin Luka Phiri faulted the Court for fueling deforestation due to weaker punishments given to the offenders.
He said it was a concern for everyone, Council and the country that every year huge sums of money are being spent for tree planting with no impact because of lack of ownership and good management.
Phiri said the youth afforestation programme currently been implemented in 14 youth clubs of the district, two per constituency, would address ownership and management of the trees planted thereby increasing the forestry cover.
Forestry Zone Manager for Central Region, Gloria Makhambera, said the country was set to plant 60 million trees in this rainy season.
She said Dowa alone 3 million trees are to be planted urging all people in the district to plant trees in their homes, churches, schools and river banks to fulfill this.
Makhambera thanked Pamodzi Consulting and Civil Engineering and China Civil Engineering Companies for providing 800 tree seedlings to be planted during the launch.
She commended Malawi Defense Force (MDF) for playing a part towards ending deforestation in the district saying it is the duty of each and every one to protect forests saying the MDF alone cannot manage.
Speaking earlier, Pamodzi Consulting and Civil Engineering Company’s Inspector of Works and Laboratory soil technician, Osman Maliwa, said it was the wish of the company to see to it that areas along the newly constructed Dowa boma-Chezi road are planted with trees saying a lot of trees were destroyed and these need replacements.