Misuku Hills in Chitipa is a beautiful place. If properly utilized, Misuku Hills would turn into one of the best tourist attraction centers in Malawi.
Misuku Hills would also help the country earn the much needed forex, the Sustainable Rural Growth and Development Initiative (SRGDI)—a local non-governmental organisation, has observed.
Located about 300 kilometres from Mzuzu City, the place is very rich in biodiversity with over 100 endemic species of birds and nice terrain covered by beautiful Mughese rain forest.
It is also home to internationally recognised Mzuzu Coffee and Misuku Honey.
Realising its potential, SRGDI with financial support from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has organised Misuku Hills Art Challenge to raise awareness of the beauty and ecological, cultural, aesthetical and economic value of Misuku Hills Forest Reserve both locally and internationally.
Speaking during a media briefing in Blantyre on Tuesday, SRGDI executive director Maynard Nyirenda said 12 top artists including photographers, painters and film makers will contest in the competition where the winner will go away with K1.2 million.
Nyirenda added that the winner will be announced during a National Exhibition in Lilongwe on May 26 where officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and international donors will be in presence.
He said aside from that, the initiative also plans to work with the media in promoting the area and bring in more investors to develop the place in terms of infrastructure.
“We want the media to get involved and write stories highlighting the beauty of the area. $30 thousand (about K21 million) has been invested in this project and we are targeting that after the national exhibition the area will be receiving over ten international visitors per month, raising about K200 000 per month,” he said.
Currently, only about 100 international tourists visit the area per year.
Nyirenda bemoaned the under-utilisation of the place saying it leads to some villagers encroaching and cutting down trees wantonly.