The situation along river banks and catchment areas in Nkhata Bay District is worrying and there is urgent need to address the situation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has said.
Temwa country programme director Tionge Msonda said in an interview that the situation is a result of wanton deforestation both along the river banks and catchment areas, saying the situation needs to be contained.
He said: “We want to lead in environmental conservation. To show that, this year we co-organised the regional tree planting launch, which took place in our catchment area.
“We take that as government’s honour and recognition to the efforts and strides we have made in natural resources management. We will plant indigenous tree species along bare river banks and promote conservation of the existing ones to address the situation there.”
Temwa is a United Kingdom (UK) registered charitable organisation and operates mainly in Nkhata Bay North with financial support from the Big Lottery Fund (BLF).
It works in areas of environmental conservation and community empowerment through provision of loans, among others.
The organisation is currently implementing a four-year project that started vast year and encourages communities to take part in natural resources conservation.
It has also trained Village Natural Resources Management Committees (VNRMC) in Senior Chief M’bwana’s area in the district.
M’bwana said, given the rate at which the area has lost its natural forests, he would encourage communities to take a leading role in addressing the situation.
Trapping water from the rocks
Travelling on the M1Road to Mzuzu through Viphya Plantation, particularly close to Kadikechi on the northern side of the plantation and in the rainy season, brings a scenario one would rarely miss—a line of gallons and jerry cans trapping water dripping from the rocks by the roadside. The people that bring their gallons here say the water from the rocks, most likely an accumulation from rains, is cleaner than that from a stream near their village. Unfortunately, the preferred water stops coming a few weeks from the end of the rainy season, forcing the people to opt for that which they say is not clean when there is some from the rocks. The picture shows a woman setting a paper funnel to trap water into her gallon.—KAREN MSISKA, Staff Writer