Blantyre District Council plans to plant over 30 million trees during this year’s National Forestry Season.
Blantyre district commissioner (DC) Bennet Nkasala said this on Saturday at the launch of the district’s tree-planting exercise in the area of village head Sabantini in Senior Chief Kunthembwe’s area.
He said the district has for several years been affected by flash floods, droughts and dry spells due to careless cutting down of trees.
“Depletion of natural resources, especially forests, has had severe effects to the district, reducing crop production both at family and district level.
“Due to this, we resolved to take an active role in reafforestation activities to alleviate some of the challenges experienced as a result of climate change,” said Nkasala.
He said apart from government and other development partners taking a leading role in tree planting, the council has deliberately engaged the community to ensure growth and survival of the trees.
“Experience has shown that each time government and other agencies plant trees, most of them have not been properly taken care of. People pay little attention because they think trees and forests belong to government,” he said.
Senior Chief Kunthembwe said there is need to plant more trees to mitigate effects of climate change.
He pledged to mobilise his subjects to plant more trees to achieve the set targets.
Blantyre district forestry officer Geoffrey Kanyerere said 800 hectares would be covered during the tree-planting season.
He said to ensure that trees survive, the Forestry Department would intensify supervision and engage the community on a regular basis.
“Last year, 69 percent of the trees that were planted survived and we hope this will increase this year,” he said.
President Peter Mutharika launched the National Forestry Season in Neno District on December 18 2017. n