First Madame Professor Gertrude Mutharika has urged Malawians to monitor and protect trees that are being planted in the 2018-2019 Tree Planting season, saying it could be a waste of resources if the trees are not taken care of.
She said duty bearers, and all citizens have a duty to plant and protect the trees, saying the benefits of trees cannot be overemphasized.
She was speaking in Lilongwe at Mphanje Primary School ground when she led members of the Beautify Malawi-BEAM Trust in planting trees in an exercise which was officially launched on December 15, 2018 by President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika.
According to the First Lady, over 100 trees will be planted at the school and surrounding areas, while nationwide over 10 million trees will be planted as part of efforts to re-afforest the country.
‘I am very happy to take part in this tree planting exercise today, because this is part of our mandate at BEAM Trust to make sure that we make our surroundings green and clean,” said Prof Mutharika.
“Traditional leaders, teachers, and all of us in positions of influence, let us take our responsibilities to safeguard these trees and all the others trees that are being planted during the season. Most times we plant trees and leave them without proper care. Let us make sure that our livestock does not feed on the trees,” she advised.
Meanwhile, the First Lady also took advantage of the presence of traditional leaders to advise them against marrying off young girls.
“I want to appeal to chiefs who are here to protect the education rights of young girls. Let’s not allow these girls to enter into marriages while they are still young. Let us work together to create an educated and empowered generation, by allowing all girls and boys access quality education for the development of this nation,” she advised.
Senior Chief Chadza who spoke on behalf of TA Njewa in whose are the function was taking place, thanked the First Lady for leading by example by coming to the area and plant trees.
“You could have chosen to just speak to us through other forms of media, to implore us to plant trees, but you’ve actually come to join us in this exercise. We are very grateful and honoured.”
“We’ll make sure that these trees are taken care of,” promised Senior Chief Chadza.
Students of Mphanje Primary and Community Day Secondary School and surrounding communities will plant the trees around the area.
In the picture, the FL waters a Mnyunyu tree that she planted at Mphanje Primary school