Republic of Malawi
By: Gift Chimulu
A least 1288 hectares of degraded catchments has been eye-marked for restoration in Salima following an inception of an integrated catchment management project through the European Union (EU) funded Kulima Better programme being implemented in the district.
Through the project being facilitated by the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) two of the district’s most degraded catchments of Changoma and Kadzibwa in TA Mwanza and Ndindi have been targeted through the project respectively.
In an interview on Sunday, the organization’s Project Officer for Salima, Luster Mkandawanji said the project will capitalize on the communities existing structures to lead in the management of the catchments.
Mkandawanji said the project will champion tree planting on both communal and individual household woodlots as well as management of regenerants in deforested areas along the two chosen catchments.
He however rated current deforestation trends in the district as alarming attributing the vice to increasing demand for charcoal in the neighboring district of Lilongwe hence calling for a collaborative approach to mitigate the situation.
“As you know Salima district is currently suffering from rampant deforestation causing alarming forest depletion, rendering its land less productive”. The project wants to restore these two catchments in order to rebuild its agricultural productivity muscle at it requires a collaborative approach”, he said.
He further said the project wants to build the community’s resilience towards continued effects of climate change which has left most communities vulnerable to shocks such as floods and persistent dry spells.
In his remarks Group Village Headman Chimoga whose area covers Kadzibwa catchment in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Ndindi thanked EAM for the project saying his area is the most affected with deforestation.
He, however, pleaded with authorities to consider the facilitation of community by-laws as one of the project’s activities to reduce the rate of deforestation while implementing restoration interventions in his area.
Salima has a total of 9 major catchments covering Linthipe, Lingadzi, Lifidzi, Chiluwa, and Lipimbi as the district's main rivers