Forest authorities in Malawi’s central region district of Ntcheu have expressed satisfaction at the increased survival rate of trees in the district.
The number has risen from 50% in the past years to 90% at present.
The authorities are attributing the development to various interventions by partners as well as the district forest office aimed at contributing to tree regeneration.
For instance a local Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), Training Support for Partners (TSP) with support from the Millennium Challenge Account Malawi is implementing a catchment conservation project targeting upper Rivirivi River in the district.
The project which is known as Strengthening Community Participation in Sustainable Land and Forest Management targets communities from two Traditional Authorities Mpando and Champiti respectively.
Its aim is to reinstate depreciated forest cover in the impact areas hence containing siltation in Shire River as it affects hydro electric power generation resulting to persistent power outages in the country.
And within the impact areas, beside encouraging communities of owing clan forest the project is also encouraging primary schools to plant trees in surrounding schools all year round.
Speaking to Capital FM, Forestry Assistant at Ntcheu District Forest Office views the interventions are a milestone in combating deforestation in the district.
Caroline Dzimbiri disclosed that currently there is a significant improvement towards tree survival rate as compared to the past years.
“It has been a difficult task to take good care of trees year round since we were concentrating much on the tree planting season hence a lot of trees were not surviving.
“But currently with interventions supported by various partners, we have seen a significant improvement on trees that survives all year round,” Dzimbiri explained.
TSP program manager stressed that the project encourages communities to be vigilant planting and take good care of tree seedlings.
Hastings Chamatwa stated that the idea is to restore destructed forest in the impact area hence combating deforestation and contributing to efficiency of power generation in the Shire River.
Meanwhile, TSP has donated teaching and learning materials to 10 primary schools that participated in a competition aimed at encouraging schools to contribute to restoration of forest cover in the catchment area with a grand prize of over MK3 Million.