Likoma Water Users Association (Liwua) has embarked on reforestation to mitigate environmental degradation on the island.
The scheme’s manager Medson Gavanala said in an interview that they want to protect the environment.
“We are planting 1 000 tree seedlings around Mbuzi Hill where our reservoir tank is mounted,” he said.
Gavanala said the scheme decided to embark on the exercise after noticing that the community around the hill was depleting forest resources, especially trees for timber and firewood without replacing them.
“The trees offer protection against strong winds from the lake which can damage the tank,” he said.
Sub-Traditional Authority Mwase commended the initiative.
He said: “I have been championing environmental conservation and restoration, especially on Mbuzi Hill Forest.
“The hill, besides its aesthetic role, has been a source of timber and firewood for people for centuries. It is also a source of nutritious indigenous fruits.”
Likoma district forest officer Grant Kumwenda, whose office supplied seedlings for the project, said they are committed to bringing vegetative cover on the island.
“I wish other institutions such as schools and churches embraced reforestation in their programmes. Environmental sustainability is every citizen’s responsibility and an inheritance for future generations,” he said.
Kumwenda said besides supplying seedlings, they also train communities in forest management. “It is important to plant trees, but it is even more important to manage the trees,” he said.