Stakeholders urged to unite for natural resource conservation

Written by Yamikani Mwawa:              

Nkhotakota District Council Chairperson Charles Chimzukuzuku has emphasized the need for concerted efforts from stakeholders in conserving natural resources in the district.

He made the call on Tuesday during the district’s 2023-2024 tree planting season launch at Dzikonilonse Primary School in the district.

Chimzukuzuku, who was the guest of honor during the launch, stated that the district is among those highly endowed with natural resources, attracting tourism, hence the need for coordinated efforts to conserve these resources.

A DEC member planting his tree seedling during the launch.

While commending partners for diligently contributing resources to ensure environmental conservation, Chimzukuzuku called for unity in ensuring the survival of the planted trees through the empowerment of various community groups, including the youth.

“Our focus should be on taking care of these newly planted trees, and we need to mobilize groups in communities and train them to take an active role in caring for these trees,” he said.

Chimzukuzuku has since called on law enforcement authorities to bring to book perpetrators found depleting environmental and forestry reserves.

On his part, Nkhotakota District’s acting Forestry Officer, George Zibophe, underscored the need for intensified post-planting management, adding that currently, the district’s tree survival rate stands at 70 percent, which he has described as average.

Zibophe (L) assisting a DEC member to properly plant a tree seedling.

“Currently, the government has employed extension workers to champion the management of the planted trees, and I anticipate that this will scale up the survival rate of these trees,” he added.

Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalimanjira encouraged group village heads to lead tree planting efforts in their villages by setting and meeting specific targets.

Nkhotakota District aims to plant over 1.3 million trees, having already planted 500 during the launch.

President Lazarus Chakwera inaugurated the 2023/2024 national tree planting season on January 18th, 2024, in Phalombe district under the theme “Forest Innovation in Action: Reforestation for a Sustainable Tomorrow.”

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