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Wellcome Trust plants trees in Chikwawa

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makawaA health research institution, Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust, on Saturday took the ongoing tree planting exercise to the area of Traditional Authority Katunga in Chikwawa.

Speaking after planting trees at William Village, Senior Research Administrator at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust, Tamara Makawa, said the trust realises that natural resources play a critical role in the well-being of people.

“We do have research projects here in Chikwawa. So, for us, it is support for people of Chikwawa in whatever activities that they are doing to promote nature, we are also part of it. We believe that if we have proper nature in place we are going to protect the communities from disasters like floods.

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“When we have floods we also have a lot of diseases and for us as health research experts we would like to prevent such disasters from happening. We exist to protect the health of Malawians and to do that effectively, we need to ensure that we address other things that affect health,” Makawa said.

Chikwawa district forestry officer, Charles Kamwendo, thanked Wellcome Trust for the exercise.

However, Kamwendo said the management of the trees planted in the past has been a problem.

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“There are a lot of bushfires and people do not take care of those trees in terms of weeding. As a result most of the resources and effort that we are putting into the exercise is being wasted. To me, it is a very big concern,” Kamwendo said.

He rated annual survival of the planted trees at less than 60 percent.

“But as the department we are still sensitising communities through the village natural resources management committees and we think the problem of deforestation in Chikwawa will be addressed,” he said.

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