26 February 2018
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Wednesday, 07 February 2018 07:34

Project advocates for use of non timber forest products

Written by  Mayamiko Majawa
Reckles cutting down of trees for charcoal production contributing to climate change Reckles cutting down of trees for charcoal production contributing to climate change BBC

MACHINGA, February 6, 2018: About 128,000 people from Traditional Authorities (T/As) Mlomba, Nyambi and Kawinga in Machinga are benefiting from Climate proofing project which advocates for the utilization of non-timber products to reduce effects of climate change.

The project is funded by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). Through the project, villagers have been given skills to embark on beekeeping projects which play a critical role in conserving the environment.

In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Tuesday, Project Coordinator, Charrison Tengatenga said out of 128,456 beneficiaries, 77,073 are women representing 60 percent.

Tengatenga said climate change has mostly affected women and as such, the project has been designed to benefit more women than men.

He said the project is empowering communities with skills and knowledge to see the importance of conserving the environment through utilization of non timber forest products to generate income.

“We are coming from a background where communities think trees are the only viable source of income. The project is advocating for a shift whereby communities should start generating income from non timber products from the forests,” he said.

Tengatenga observed that through the project, some communities have started earning money from the selling of honey they harvest from beekeeping.

He added: “This is the sustainable way of conserving our environment which has been depleted due to cutting down of tree for fire wood and charcoal production.”

In addition, the project also supported the rehabilitation of Namosi Irrigation Scheme in the district which has enabled the communities to engage in irrigation farming. The scheme is getting water from Chikala Mountain.

Chairperson for the Scheme, Anderson Gowani hailed the project for rehabilitating the scheme saying the facility is providing communities with water both for irrigation farming and domestic use all year round.

Group Village Headman Chikweo hoped his subjects would not be greatly affected by hunger this year due to the dry spell as farmers will be able to practice winter cropping, thanks to the rehabilitated scheme.

GVH Chikweo then warned his subjects against vandalizing the scheme urging them to take care of the infrastructure for sustainable development.

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