Youths from Enyezini in Mzimba have said they will protect what is left of their forests from depletion through bee-keeping.
The youths, working through Mbondole Youth Group in Kampingo-Sibande area, have since started to practise apiculture as a deterrent to deforestation.
Apiculture is the maintenance of bee colonies, commonly through man-made hives.
Mphatso Nkhambule, group member, said the exercise is already paying dividends.
“With five beehives, we have not only managed to secure forests from illegal logging and charcoal making, but we are also generating income,” she said.
To ensure sustainability, the youth are already planning to have 10 more beehives to cover the entire forest.
The group is among some that Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) established in the area under their project My Life My Choice.
The project seeks to empower the youth, especially girls, under an initiative Young Girls Can Do It, to take leading roles in enhancing positive change in society.
In a separate interview, village head Satiyere commended the project for enhancing development in the area.
“The project, which also has some village savings and loans component to it, has given the youth something to do.
“The fact that it is largely targeting school leavers and dropouts alike makes it relevant,” he said.
Cepa project officer Tiwonge Chirwa said the project has impact on the youth in the district.
“We are impressed with what the youth have achieved so far.
“We wanted to offer hope, especially to girls, who have displayed that once empowered, they can achieve great things,” she said.
The project started in 2015 with support from the Development Fund of Norway.