Blantyre city deputy Mayor Councillor Josephy Makwinja has expressed concern over massive deforestation in the city citing rapid urbanization as one of the factors.
Makwinja said the situation has made the city prone to effects of climate change that come about due deforestation.
He was speaking recently when he presided over a tree planting exercise for Blantyre city south constituency at Soche Hill mountain. The event was organised by Parliamentarian for the area Noel Lipipa.
The Deputy Mayor said that unlike in the past when the city had a sizable population, people have now encroached in areas along mountains in the city where they are now living and cultivating.
He mentioned areas along Sochi Hill mountain and Bangwe mountain as examples of places which have almost been made bear due to deforestation, a scenario he said is compromising the city’s outlook.
“Blantyre used to be one of the beautiful cities not only in Malawi but even in the entire southern Africa. Such was the case as the city is surrounded by mountains such as Sochi Hill, Miranda, Chigumula and Mpingwe which used to be surrounded by green vegetative cover. It is sad that such is no longer the case”.
He then disclosed that the city intends to embark on a wide re- afforestation exercise in these areas.
Parliamentarian for the area Noel Lipipa said he decided to organise a tree planting exercise for the constituency for people in his area to emulate his example in conserving the environment.
He added that he intends to plant over 12 thousand tree seedlings in his area this rainfall season.
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera opened this year’s national forestry season in December to run for four months and a total of six million trees are expected to be planted.