Zomba District Council, through the district forestry office, plans to plant 3.5 million trees in eight extension planning areas and Zomba Urban during the national tree planning season.
The district’s forestry officer Amon Kabango said in an interview on Tuesday that with support from World Food Programme (WFP), the office will provide tree seedlings to parliamentarians, local leaders, health and education institutions to enhance participation by all during the exercise.
“To ensure survival and growth of the trees, some management operations such as weeding, thinning, pruning and establishing fire breaks and protection of trees from pests and diseases need to be promoted,” he said.
Kabango further said to protect the trees and established forests, the office promotes forest-based enterprises such as bee-keeping, which enables the communities to sustainably manage the trees and their forests.
“By-laws will also be enforced to help punish those who do illegal activities such as wanton cutting down of trees as well as enforcement of management plans that ensure that trees and forests are conserved and utilised by strictly following guidelines and standards,” he said.
On his part, Senior Chief Malemia, who oversees 600 villages, said they are set to plant trees through a village to village initiative in which every village is challenged to own communal forest.
“If the communal forests are set and well managed, they will ably restore the plundered environment, which has led to environmental shocks,” he said.