Paramount Chief Kawinga of Machinga has expressed concern over excessive cutting down of tress by communities surrounding Chikala Hill.
The chief has since asked Machinga District Council and other players to quickly find a solution to the problem.
Kawinga said this on Sunday during a field visit to Climate Proofing Project sites in traditional authorities (T/As) Mlomba, Nyambi and Chikweo in the district.
He said the increased cutting down of trees by Chaone communities at the top of the hill is negatively affecting people living downhill.
“In the past, rivers from Chikala Hill used to supply drinking water for people in T/A Kawinga, Mlomba and Liwonde. Nowadays, these communities are struggling to access water as the rivers have dried up,” said Kawinga.
The paramount chief said the efforts under Climate Proofing Project are commendable, but he doubted their sustainability if trees were not replaced.
Group village head Chibojola said it was sad to note that some people are busy conserving the environment while others are degrading it especially around Chikala Hill.
Climate Proofing Project coordinator Charrison Tengatenga said the situation is worrisome because Chikala Hill is a source of water for Namose Irrigation Scheme downhill.
The project is financed by Global Environmental Facility through United Nations Development Programme (UNPD). n