Communities in Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza have started restoring almost 50 hectares of forest cover of Kapirimutu, Ntcheu and Msongwe hills through natural regeneration.
The method involves ensuring that stumps are left to sprout, which has proved to be more effective than planting new trees.
Chairperson of the committee taking care of Kapirimutu and Ntcheu hills, group village head Malemia said in an interview it was discussions by chiefs surrounding the three hills that have led to the protection of trees.
“It is good to see people are obeying the laws and the trees are conserved,” he said.
“We have been suffering in the past because our rivers and swamps dried up. We could not practice irrigation and we failed to provide enough food for our children,” added Gelementina Gelevazio of Malemia Village.
Msongwe Hill committee member Stanley Kalembo said with the help of United Purpose, the community was given 10 beehives to start apiculture and 5 000 exotic trees which were planted in the hill.
“Through various trainings we started developing a fire break and also encouraging community members to watch over one another and report anyone found cutting trees,” he said.
Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining chief environmental officer Clement Tikiwa hailed the communities for protecting the environment.