Karonga District Department of Forestry has embarked on the restoration of 600 hectares of degraded land by planting 1.5 million tree seedlings to address climate change shocks such as floods and strong winds.
In an interview yesterday, Karonga district assistant forestry officer Kingston Tembo said planting trees will increase forestry cover, thereby protecting the land from degradation.
He said: “The district faces natural disasters every year such as floods and strong winds.
“The problem is caused by deforestation that has left the land bare; hence, planting trees is a solution.”
Tembo said they have involved community members in tree-nursery management to ensure community participation in the initiative.
On his part, Karonga district disaster management, relief and rehabilitation officer Shepherd Jere commended the department for focusing on disaster preventive measures.
“It is indeed worrisome that the district is continuously hit by floods and strong winds due to loss of forestry cover,” he said.
Daniel Mwalilino, a resident, welcomed the initiative, saying community members should take proactive action to prevent disasters.
“I blame wanton cutting down of trees for charcoal making for the disasters. However, we should encourage people to restore vegetative cover to solve the problem,” he said.
Karonga is one of the districts in Malawi which faces disasters such as floods.
This year, floods affected about 5 000 households in the district.
Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs has installed flood-warning equipment in the district to alert people of any eventualities.