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NRWB and PRSM rally stakeholders to preserve Kaning’ina Forest through a tree planting initiative

Written by Ivy Tunkete Mwanyongo:

The Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has underscored the necessity of collaborative efforts among stakeholders to preserve the Kaning’ina Forest Reserve, vital for the Lunyangwa River’s flow, supplying water to Mzuzu City residents and its environs.

NRWB’s Director of Operations, Engineer Dr. Asumani Ungwe, made the call during a tree planting initiative jointly organized by NRWB and the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM) in Mzuzu on Saturday.

Dr. Ungwe pointed out the critical role of trees in maintaining vegetation cover to prevent soil erosion and sustain water quality.

We plan to plant at least 400,000 trees-Dr Ungwe.

“Trees are essential for NRWB as they provide vegetative cover for our catchment areas, ensuring soil remains intact, thus safeguarding water quality and quantity,” he remarked.

“This year, we plan to plant at least 400,000 trees across catchment areas including Lunyangwa, Mzimba, Rumphi, Kalenge, and Nkhatabay and we aim to achieve this target by next week,” added Dr Ungwe.

While acknowledging the partnership with PRSM, Dr. Ungwe urged for collaborative efforts in raising awareness about the risks associated with deforestation in the board’s catchment areas, which could jeopardize water provision efforts.

PRSM President, Benson Linje, expressed the society’s commitment to complementing government tree planting initiatives.

 

It’s our responsibility to contribute to tree planting efforts-Linje.

“As a Malawian group, we believe it’s our responsibility to contribute to tree planting efforts,” Linje stated, noting their recent tree planting activities in Kasungu district.

Linje highlighted PRSM’s focus on civic education to enlighten rural communities on the importance of tree planting and environmental conservation.

Meanwhile, Malawi Defense Force (MDF) Captain Flao Mwale from Moyale Barracks pledged ongoing patrols to ensure forest conservation.

Assured of ongoing forest patrols-Captain Mwale.

Captain Mwale urged residents to report any suspected forest destruction, as troops often conduct training exercises in the area.

Justine Saidi, representing the Zone Forestry Officer, revealed plans to plant a total of 7 million trees in the northern region, with 5.3 million already planted as of March 9th this year.

In addition to NRWB, PRSM, and MDF officials, the tree planting initiative saw participation from Level 4 Communication Studies students of Mzuzu University and local communities.

The 2023/24 tree planting season, spanning from December 15th, 2023, to April 15th, 2024, aims to plant 34 million trees nationwide.

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