Minister responsible for Water Development and Sanitation Abida Mia has expressed concern over the high rate of deforestation around Mulunguzi dam catchment at Zomba Plateau.
Mia expressed her worry over the deforestation when she presided over tree planting which Southern Region Water Board organised at Mulunguzi dam catchment area.
She added that it was worrisome that irresponsible cutting down of tree is taking place within the catchment area which is crucial in water supply to people in Zomba.
The minister therefore appealed to Senior Chiefs Malemia and Mlumbe to discourage their subjects from irresponsibly cutting down trees in the Zomba Plateau.
She also asked the Malawi Defence Force to guard the forests in the Zomba Plateau against illegal cutting down of trees .
“Government knows that people cut down trees in the plateau for fire wood but we will make sure to give them other alternatives so that they should not depend on fire wood for energy,” the minister added.
The Minister then hailed the Southern Region Water Board for planting trees every year in the Mulunguzi dam catchment to protect depletion of the area
Mia also disclosed that government will construct additional dam at Domasi in the district to also supply water in Zomba.
The Water and Sanitation minister said that construction works for the Domasi dam will start soon.
Chairperson of the board of Southern Region Water Board, Brown Mpinganjira, said the board will plant 151,000 tree seedlings, adding that 120,000 seedlings have already been planted in Mulunguzi Dam catchment area to protect the area from total depletion.
Mpinganjira also called on people around the plateau to avoid deforestation saying this was a serious threat to biodiversity in the plateau and set back in water supply for people in Zomba .
Member of Parliament for Zomba Malosa, Grace Kwelepeta, thanked Ministry of Water and Sanitation for deciding to construct a dam at Domasi in Zomba Malosa saying this will be a positive development in the water supply.
Kwelepeta also urged people in Zomba to stop cutting down trees within Mulunguzi dam catchment and other places places in the plateau.
Malawi Defence Force soldiers from Changalume and Zomba Air base, Police Officers from Zomba, Civil Society Organisation representatives, Traditional Chiefs and their subjects, Zomba District and City Councils officials, members for Zomba Press Club, school learners participated in the Southern Region Water Board organised tree planting exercise around Mulunguzi catchment.
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