As the tree planting season ticks towards its end, a grouping of Malawi’s southern region journalists under the tag Blantyre Press Club (BPC) in conjunction with the Puma energy has planted trees in Soche mountain in Blantyre.
The exercise which commenced with a 5.4km big walk from Green Corner Puma Fueling station to the mountain, was held on Saturday morning.
Journalists from different media houses together with Soche communities with funding from Puma energy planted over 5000 trees.
Speaking after the the planting exercise, Malawi’s Puma energy Chief Executive Officer, Dr Davis Lanjesi said their company is so much committed to planting trees in the country to at least retrieve lost environment.
Dr Lanjesi said this is a continuation of what they agreed with Blantyre Press Club in 2013 to plant 1, 000, 000 trees countrywide to bring back forests which in turn can make the country receive enough rains.
“This is a continuation of our project which Puma Malawi and journalists of Blantyre Press Club agreed way back in 2013 that we should plant a 1000000 trees in our country.
“The idea is simple, we want to bring back forests in our country, because when trees are back we will get enough rains and the moment Malawi gets enough rains it means agricultural productivity will go up and the economy will improve and with an improved economy, all companies including Puma energy will do better,” said Dr Lanjesi.
He further appealed to communities where trees are planted to seriously take care of the trees claiming it’s the community’s responsibility to take care of planted trees so as to have a good survival rate of the planted trees.
Speaking after the same event, Blantyre Press Club board member Henry Mchazime said they thought of involving themselves in such activities claiming it could be incomplete to just write environmental stories without any action hence their relationship with Puma energy.
Mchazime further added that reporters are much committed to planting trees in more areas saying they too are also being affected by the effects deforestation.
In his remarks, Blantyre district forest officer Geoffrey Kanyelere said the district is facing challenges in as far as degradation is concerned as most of the trees in the city are gone due unnecessary cutting down of trees.
He further said due to much soil degradation in the city, crop harvesting has also been a challenge as most farmers are now relying on inorganic fertilizers instead of manure since the soil is heavily degraded.
“Blantyre as a district we are really facing big challenges in as far as deforestation is concerned and as you go around the city you will see that most of the trees are gone.
So being an agrobased country we need to take care of our environment so as to have better production in the agricultural sector,” said Kanyelere.
Kanyelere further said the city is only remaining with 8% of big trees a development which he said is worrisome but said there is possibility of restoring them if the communities are seriously involved in tree planting exercises.