Youths in Phalombe district on Friday strategized for the implementation of this year’s Malawi Youth Forest Restoration Programme (MYFRP) activities which will commence next week in the district.
The youth together with officers from the Forestry and Youth Departments in the district plan to engage 380 youths from 19 youth clubs in planting and caring for trees that will cover 1,491 hectares of land in hills and along critical river banks in the district.
According to District Forestry Officer Moses Mtambo, this year government has decided to engage fewer youths in order for the programme to achieve notable economic impacts among the youths following concerns which were raised last year.
“Last year most of the youths raised concerns that the money they received for the work was not enough for them to do anything notable so this year the programme has been designed in a way that participating youths should receive money that can support them in starting small scale businesses so that there is continuous economic benefit,” said Mtambo.
In this year’s activities of the double impact programme, the youths are expected to care for trees planted during last year’s season, but also to plant new trees, as well as facilitate natural regeneration in various hills in the district.
Chairperson for Phalombe Active Youth Club, Moses Kathumba, said on Friday that last year the exercise was a success in his area as out of 8400 trees that were planted, over 5300 have survived representing a 63 percent survival rate.
Commenting on the issue, District Youth Officer Ian Sukali said his office expects that the programme will register more successes than last year due to the increase in the finances that the youths are expected to get after the work.
In Phalombe district, activities of the Malawi Youth Forest Restoration Programme are expected to commence by Wednesday next week.