Over one million trees have been planted during the first cycle of the Public Works Programme (PWP) under the Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf) 4 in Lilongwe.
According to Lilongwe District Council director of public works Sydney Chiphaka, the council received K672 million from the Local Development Fund (LDF) for implementation of regular and emergency public works with a target on environmental conservation.
“The district council distributed seeds for the communities to raise their own tree nurseries in September 2016. These tree seedlings have been planted and, so far, we have planted 1 320 333 trees,” he said.
Chiphaka said 328 sub-projects under the forestry sector have been implemented under the programme. Under the sub-projects communities cleared bushes, planted trees and made fire-breaks around community forests, among other activities.
The LDF reforestation project has pushed the number of trees planted in the district during the current forestry season to four million. The district forestry office sourced over three million tree seedlings, mostly indigenous varieties, which have been planted during this tree planting season.
Lilongwe district forestry officer Tresa Mvula said indigenous varieties were preferred because they are good in moisture retention as compared to exotic ones. She said the indigenous trees will help conserve the catchment areas along Lilongwe, Nathenje and Nanjiri rivers, among others.
Last year, the district planted 2.5 million trees, 70 percent of which survived.