Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo says the battle against environmental degradation in Zomba can be won if timber cooperatives are empowered in forest management.
The minister said this on Sunday when she toured Mulunguzi Marsh on Zomba Mountain.
The marsh feeds Mulunguzi Dam where Southern Region Water Board pumps water to supply its customers in Zomba City and surrounding areas.
During the tour, it was discovered that cooperatives are managing their trees well and there are no spots of bushfires compared to government-owned sites.
“This calls for unity of purpose between the Forestry Department and the cooperatives to work together to ensure that trees are well conserved in the mountain,” said Tembo.
On his part, Mulunguzi Timber Cooperative chairperson Edwin Chitimbe said they have passion for tree management.
He said after tree-planting, they monitor the growth of the trees until they str ready for harvesting.
“We appeal to government and other stakeholders interested in forestry management to equip us with knowledge and other resources that will help us to manage the forests well,” he said.