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Saturday, 14 July 2018 16:38

Mchinji district forestry office involves communities in forest regeneration

Written by  Aaron Banda
Part of the forestry team appreciating regeneration of indigenous trees Part of the forestry team appreciating regeneration of indigenous trees

Mchinji, July 13, 2018: The District Forestry Officer for Mchinji, Harold Kanthenga has appealed to communities, especially women in Mchinji to get involved in sustainable management of forests by promoting regeneration of trees which are being cut down due to illegal charcoal production.

He spoke this during a tour to some Village Forest Areas (VFAs) and land resource management sites in the area of Senior Chief Mkanda which was organized by the district forestry office team.
“Continuous cutting down of trees has affected many sectors. The rainfall pattern has significantly changed to worse, water level in our rivers is low,” Kanthenga said.

Kanthenga lamented that it is the district’s wish to see more existing indigenous shrubs grow into big and thick forests and help improve the water table through land resources conservation.

The Forestry team visited over 10 Village Forest Areas which are being run by women groups and the district as a whole has over 300 village forest areas.

Chairperson for Tikondane Women Group, Margret Mwale cited an example of water problems currently hitting most parts of Mchinji which she said is manmade as people have left bare the intake of the river which supplies water hence the need to allow for the regeneration of indigenous forests.

She said the group has almost 2.2 hectares of land where there is regeneration of indigenous trees.

For so long district forestry office have been complaining the cutting down of indigenous trees in Mchinji forest reserve, saying the forest is in danger of losing its natural trees.

Senior Group Kamphata said by-laws were being formulated which according to him would help prevent unnecessary cutting down of trees meant for illegal charcoal production.

“As chief for the area I would like to encourage other chiefs to be responsible for their forests and guard against any form of destruction by the perpetrators,” he said.

The chief also has provided his community a big land for natural forest regeneration and tree planting exercise which currently is in process.

Recent District Forestry Office report shows that forest reserves which border Zambia are in serious danger of depletion as people from both Malawi and Zambia side are cutting trees almost reducing the reserves to a bare land.

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