People displaced by floods in Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba have appealed for tree seedlings for planting along river banks and low-lying areas to check future floods.
In an interview, group village head (GVH) Kathebwe said the floods that displaced people in his area last month were a result of rampant deforestation that left the ground bare.
“Now, even dykes erected to control water from rivers are damaged, yet, maintaining them is costly,” he said.
The GVH said although he appreciates relief items various organisations and government donated to flood victims, a long-lasting solution was needed.
“We have realised that planting trees will solve our problem; hence, asking for well-wishers to support us with seedlings,” he said.
Jonas Misiri, a villager, said he was ready to plant trees in the area alongside fellow residents.
“What we need are the seedlings. We are tired of facing floods every year,” he said.
In a separate interview, Catholic Development Commission (Cadecom) assistant programmes coordinator Aaron Ntaya described the communities’ afforestation initiative as imperative to check against flooding.
“Trees are vital in the elimination of environmental shocks such as erratic rains and floods that frustrate people’s livelihoods,” he said.
Zomba district forestry officer Amon Kadango said they plan to plant 3.5 million trees this year in the district.
“We will donate assorted tree seedlings to various groups of people such as parliamentarians, local leaders and educational institutions for the tree-planting exercise,” he said.
Cadecom is implementing a Climate Challenge Programme with support from the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund through Troicaire in the area.