By Andrew Mkonda
Lilongwe District Forestry Officer Margret Kawalewale has said the district is set to plant about 5.5 million tree seedlings in the 2023/24 National Forestry Season.
Speaking in an interview Saturday ahead of the official district launch on 19th January, Kawalewale urged members of the community to concentrate planting fruit trees this year such as mangoes, oranges and many others so that they also assist them, healthy wise.
“We have already many tree seedlings in place and we are optimistic that we will go above our target. We don’t need to delay since we are experiencing erratic rains,” She said.
Kawalewale said last year only 65 percent of the trees survived in the district due to the dry spell experienced in some parts of the country.
“So, let me take this opportunity of urging everyone in the district to take part in tree planting and ensure that the trees are protected and taken care of so that they can survive.
“Trees need pre-pruning, so when it comes to March and April we need to concentrate on managing those trees by even making firebreaks when the rains are over,” she said.
On her part, one of the villagers Jazel Lamitoni from Mzingo village in Nkhoma said they are more than ready to plant more trees this year saying they have known the importance of trees from what happened during Cyclone Freddy.
Lamitoni who is also one of the beneficiaries of Climate Smart Project said this year they want to plant many trees along river banks so that incidences of disasters such as floods should be mitigated.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change is targeting to plant 34 million trees during this year’s National Forestry Season.