Republic of Malawi
By: Gift Chimulu
President Peter Mutharika on Saturday, 15th of December, 2018 launched the 2018/2019 National Forestry Season at Malingunde Primary School ground in Traditional Authority (TA) Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe District with a call on Malawians to play a leading role in securing water, food and environment.
Falling under the theme “Plant and Manage Trees: Secure Water, Food and Environment,” 60 million trees are expected to be planted across the country, covering approximately 25,000 hectares of bare land. The state president said his government will continue encouraging afforestation programmes targeting catchments as a key factor of conserving water, food and environment.
“It is important to plant and manage trees because they give us food, life and retain water, among others,” he said.
President Mutharika called for a holistic effort in planting and managing trees in order to sustain catchments' productivity in providing adequate water, food as well as a sustainable environment in the country. He said conserving forests is the duty of the nation and the responsibility of all citizens to protect and sustain forests so as to continue benefiting from them.
In his remarks, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi, hailed Mutharika for taking this year’s tree planting launch to Masumbankhunda, a catchment for Kamuzu Dam and Dzalanyama Forest Reserve.
“I would like to thank the President for launching the 2018/2019 tree planting season in Malingunde because the trees planted today will help in restoring the forest as well as retaining water in the dam,” he said.
Masi said that at least 60 million seedlings will be planted across the nation in this season alone. The President and the First Lady Gertrude Mutharika planted orange and M’bawa (Khaya anthotheca) trees.