By Maston Kaiya – Mana.
Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources has commended Paramount Chief Gomani V for his initiative of planting trees and conserving forest resources in his jurisdiction.
Chairperson for the committee, Werani Chilenga made the remarks on Monday during a tree planting function at Kaonda Primary School at Lizulu in Ntcheu.
He said the committee decided to support Inkosi Gomani’s forestry efforts by providing him with 5000 seedlings.
“ESCOM cut down trees around Ntandire location in Lilongwe where Police houses were built. We therefore summoned and advised the electricity company to give back the trees that were destroyed and ESCOM gave us 5,000 seedlings which we have brought here,” said Chilenga.
“What Paramount Chief Gomani V is doing on the conservation of natural resources is very commendable to the socio economic development of the country. That is the reason we decided to donate the seedlings to the chief to compliment his initiative,” he added.
The Chairperson further urged other chiefs in the country to emulate Chief Gomani’s initiative and warned those who destroy natural resources such as charcoal dealers of stiff penalties which are encompassed in the Forestry Act.
“Once a vehicle is caught transporting charcoal illegally, it will be forfeited and become government property and the driver will be arrested and face jail sentence,” warned Chilenga.
Paramount Chief Gomani V said he decided to come up with the initiative since he has passion for forest reserves saying the benefits from the environment are very crucial to the infrastructural and socio-economic development of the country.
“I have set up a committee on planting, protection, conservation and management of forest resources in my jurisdiction across the country. The committees comprise Impi’s (Advisors), chiefs and various individuals,” said Paramount Chief Gomani V.
He said he decided to start with Kaonda School which is within his Headquarters then move on to other schools and proceed to other districts under his jurisdiction.
He said starting planting trees in primary schools would encourage children to have passion in the conservation of natural resources at a tender age.
Chief Gomani V disclosed that he plans to work on forest reserves across his eight jurisdiction districts of Ntcheu, Dedza, Mwanza, Neno, Thyolo, Mangochi, Lilongwe and Balaka.
In his remarks ESCOM representative Innocent Chitosi hailed Paramount Chief Gomani’s initiative which he said would go a long way in the socio economic development of the communities in the country.
Paramount Chief Gomani has since named his forest reserves and woodlots as Nkosini Forest Reserves.