Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, has underscored the significance of restoring the green cover of Dzalanyama Forest to sustain sufficient water supply to Lilongwe City and surrounding areas.
Speaking at a tree-planting exercise at the forest, Muhara said it was worth noting that some companies have started looking after some hectares of the forest, citing Azam and Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited.
“Limbe Leaf and Azam are looking after 100 and 10 hectares respectively. Let me also urge companies and other government institutions to emulate this. If companies come and help us, they will show that they are good corporate citizens,” he said.
He, however, said the government will continue engaging the local community to develop a spirit of ownership of the forest, following the death of community forest scout, Wisdom Samuel, who killed while protecting the forest from wanton cutting down of trees.
Lilongwe Water Board Chairperson, Bishop Charles Tsukuluza, said deforestation in Dzalanyama affects water levels in Lilongwe River which supplies water to the board’s reservoirs.
“We are struggling a little bit because our operations have slowed down a bit but we are mitigating the problem. We are finding ways of increasing storage at Kamuzu Dam,” he said.
Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri, said his government was committed to implementing the technical cooperation for the country to achieve its development goals.
Officers from Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service and other institutions took part in the tree-planting exercise under the theme: ‘Increase Forest Cover at Dzalanyama for transformed landscapes and Improved Livehoods’.
This year, the Ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Mining has set a target of 62 million seedlings to plant in the 2019/2020 national forestry season.