People from Chiwaliwali village, Traditional Authority(T/A) Kalumo in Ntchisi have planted more trees to counter the negative effects of deforestation in the area.
In recent years, agricultural productivity declined in the area because top fertile soil was washed away following wanton cutting down of trees. Therefore, the trees being planted are expected to provide fertility to the soil.
Leading volunteer for the village, George Goliati, told The Nation on Monday the community has realised that the responsibility to improve their lives lies in their own hands.
He said: “For many years, Malawians including my fellow villagers in Chiwaliwali Village have been waiting for government and non-governmental organisations(NGOs) to come and solve our problems. But as for the people from this village, we have now realised that we are the ones who understand and feel the pain of our problems, hence, we are also the ones who can easily come up with long lasting solutions to these problems.
“We have embarked on our own project of planting trees and we have penalties for people who cut down trees carelessly. Every household should plant not less than 10 trees this rainy season.”
Currently, the community has formulated by-laws which include a fine of a goat when one cuts a tree without permission.
Speaking in a separate interview on the issue of citizens’ patriotism in community development, National Initiative and Civic Education (Nice) Trust executive director Ollen Mwalubunju said it is time Malawians demonstrated their patriotism by taking a leading role in development by solving their own problems.
He said: “It is good for people to be patriotic by taking part in development activities. We should see more Malawians developing themselves without waiting for intervention from government or NGOs.”