By Alexander Juma, a Contributor
Castel Malawi Limited in its forest restoration campaign has committed K20 million for this year’s tree-planting exercise in the country.
The initiative, aimed at restoring the lost forests was launched at the Mudi Catchment area in Blantyre on Friday, which is one of the key sources of water for Blantyre Water Board (BWB).
Part of the K20 million has been used to buy 10,000 tree seedlings, while the remaining part will be used in other interventions aimed at nurturing the seedlings as a way of recovering the lost forest cover and conserving the environment.
Speaking during the event, the company’s human resource and corporate affairs director, Gloria Zimba stated that the initiative is part of their commitment to environmental sustainability.
“We have put in place an initiative to ensure that together with the people in the surrounding area, we should hold hands to protect the trees. We will form a team with the help of Malawi Police composed of the people around the area to patrol the area and ensure that the trees are protected,” said Zimba.
She added that the partnership between Castel Malawi and the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) is an important step towards protecting the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.
“The tree-planting exercise is also aimed at creating awareness about the importance of conserving the environment and encouraging people to participate in environmental conservation activities. We will plant trees in other selected areas like Liwonde, Mzuzu and others,” explained Zimba.
In his remarks, BWB senior water quality and environmental officer, Joe Chimeta, commended Castel Malawi for the gesture saying it compliments their efforts to save Mudi Catchment Area.
“We have had a challenge with siltation of the dam due to the cutting down of trees around this catchment area. Five years ago, members of the surrounding communities encroached this place, but we are making progress to restore it,” he said.
Group Village Headman Matope from Ndirande Township also commended Castel Malawi for the decision to plant and nurture the trees.
“Every year companies and organisations come to plant trees here but the place still looks the same because the trees lack care. It is therefore interesting to note that Castel Malawi has committed to take care of the trees planted today,” he said.
The participants who included school children around Ndirande, residents of Ndirande, BWB employees, Police officers and Castel Malawi employees planted the trees with enthusiasm, and there was a sense of satisfaction among them as they took part in an activity that will help to protect the environment.