Eastern Region deputy forestry zone manager Kennedy Adamson has urged people in Ntcheu to go an extra mile in conserving the environment by planting more trees.
The plea comes amid reports that about one million hectares have been degraded in the region’s forestry zone.
Speaking during the launch of a tree planting season in Traditional Authority Kwataine’s area in the district on Saturday, Adamson said there was need for the participation of all stakeholders if the environment is to be restored.
“Just like any other district in Malawi, Ntcheu has not been spared the negative impact of deforestation. The zone requires our efforts to restore the environment. This is why I am asking everyone here to plant a tree to restore the environment,” he said.
Adamson said rampant charcoal production, firewood extraction and unsustainable agricultural practices have contributed to the degradation of land in Ntcheu and the Eastern Region as a whole.
Ntcheu district forestry officer Donnex Mtambo said the district plans to plant about 1.8 million trees during this year’s forestry season.
“Our target was to plant 2.3 million trees. However, we produced about 1.8 million tree seedlings and those are the ones that we are planting this season,” he said.
Eastern Region forestry zone covers Ntcheu, Machinga, Balaka, Mangochi and Zomba districts.
President Peter Mutharika launched the National Tree Planting Season in December 2018 in Lilongwe which ends in April this year. n