Families adopting forests in Nkhotakota

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Amid calls for Malawians to take care of trees, an initiative whereby families adopt forests has proven to be effective in saving trees in Nkhotakota.

As one way of sustaining forests in Nkhotakota district, families are adopting natural forests with the aim of protecting them from people who may want to be cutting down trees wantonly.

Some of the forests that are family owned are Mtunda, Boma, Msooya and Magaisa individual forests in NKhandwe village, Traditional Authority Malengachanzi in the district.

Chikangawa forestSpeaking in an interview with Malawi24, one of the family members of Mtunda Jackson said owning the forest is really helping to conserve trees since no one is allowed to cut the trees.

According to Jackson, with support from Total Land Care the exercise is made possible because they are equipped with skills on how to take care of the forests.

“The skills that Total Land Care equip us with are really helping to maintain the number of trees in the forest. Some years ago people were just cutting trees carelessly but now whoever is found doing that faces a penalty,” Jackson said.

He also said that per year they make sure to plant additional trees and make fire breaks.

“The issue of fire is also worrisome, sometimes people set careless fire and we make sure to protect the trees by making fire breaks in all areas that are susceptible to catching fire,” He said.

Speaking in a separate interview, Group Village Headwoman hailed families in her village for the effort they are taking in conserving environment.

According to Chief Nkhandwe, the approach is very important because it is helping in mitigating the effects of climate change that is caused by deforestation.

“As you know that climate has changed and one of the causes of this is wanton cutting down of trees. The families that are owning the forests are making sure that trees are safe hence maintaining ground cover,” she said.

“The trees also protect fertile soils that actually makes farmers to harvest bumper yields at the end of the growing season hence alleviating hunger,” she added.

During the launch of the tree planting President Peter Mutharika urged all Malawians to take part in making Malawi green again by at least planting a tree per year.

After Mutharika’s call, various stakeholders such as soldiers, religious groupings among others have planted thousands of trees in the country.

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