Government has urged communities around Dzalanyama Forest Reserve in Lilongwe to preserve trees in order to reduce water shortages.
Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara said this during a tree planting exercise held at Dzalanyama forest under the theme “Malawi forest rooted in the past , branching out in the future”.
Muhara said that it is significant for everyone to preserve forests. He also thanked traditional leaders in the area for taking part in the exercise.
“I would like to commend the Malawi government for the help and traditional leaders for making sure that the forest reserve is protected and also for taking part during this exercise,” he stressed.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative in Malawi Kazuhiko Tokuhashi observed that the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve has been degraded and deforested due to illegal charcoal burning.
He said public awareness could have reduced the use of charcoal and firewood which is leading to deforestation.
According to Tokuhashi, some people are not aware of the importance of forest as such the awareness can help to preserve the trees.
Recently government pledged to deal with anyone found cutting down trees in the country’s forests. Government also deployed soldiers at Dzalanyama in order to protect the forest reserve.
Charcoal burning is the major factor contributing to deforestation in the country.