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Wednesday, 12 February 2020 11:52

Umbwi SS alumni bemoan encroachment

Written by  George Mponda

Dedza, February 11, Mana: Former students of Umbwi Secondary School in Dedza have bemoaned encroachment into the school land by surrounding communities, saying it is creating an environment which is not conducive for learning.

The alumni sounded the concern on Saturday during a tree planting exercise which they organized to help restore the school’s dwindling woodlots.

Umbwi alumni Chairperson, Isaac Malunga said the learning environment is negatively affected because community members have been cutting down trees and settling on the school land.

“Basically, we want to restore the beauty that Umbwi had during our time. Recreation and school boundaries are important because learners need to relax in the woods or study there.

“But now, people are cutting down school trees and settling on the school land, denying them this opportunity,” he said.

“We will sit down with school administration so that they should engage the district council to review the map of the school and in the process, remove those who are illegally constructing their houses on the school land,” he added.

Patron for Umbwi Wildlife Club, Gillion Chiomba said all sides of the school are being slowly encroached by surrounding community members.

“This issue is very serious because slowly the school is losing its land to illegal occupants who are distracting the studies of the learners.

“Therefore, our plans to construct more structures at the school due to increased intake will be affected because we are losing school the land,” Chiomba said.

He said though they have reached out to the district council to help them expel the encroachers, the school is yet to be assisted on this matter.

Umbwi Secondary School was opened in 1967 as a boys-only school but now it also enrolls girls.

It is surrounded by Kapalamula and Mthandizi villages whose members are said to be illegally occupying the school land.

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