For a long time, people of Namagunda Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mthilamanja in Mulanje failed to implement development projects due to lack of trees in their area.
This forced village head Namagunda to donate her garden for her subjects to turn it into a woodlot.
When developed, the village head hopes the woodlot will not only help the villagers get firewood, but also protect the soil from erosion.
“I observed that my people were not benefitting from various development projects because, among other reasons, we did not have a woodlot. The issue of deforestation coupled with flash floods, made me to mobilise the community in a re-afforestation drive,” says Namagunda.
She asked Nature Conservation for Humanitarian Support Organisation (Nacohuso) to assist in acquiring tree seedlings to be planted in the woodlot, which will be managed by the community to create a sense of ownership.
Speaking during the tree planting exercise, the village head, born Suwema Phwanyiwa, said her area, which is near Thuchila River, was heavily affected by last year’s floods.
She, therefore, advised her subjects to take care of the woodlot, saying it would benefit the whole village.
Chikuli Ward councillor Beatrice Kamoto Mlatho thanked the village head for providing land for tree planting.
“I will be working with the communities to ensure the trees survive and that they are well managed,” said Mlatho.
Nacohuso executive director Damson Chelewani said the trees were planted through the Sustainable Land Management project with funding from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“We will be making follow up visits and monitoring the survival of the planted trees. They have planted 2 000 trees, and we appeal to the community to take ownership of the project. These trees, if well managed, will benefit the whole ommunity,”said Chelewani.