An organisation has planted more than 11 million trees in several parts of the Northern Region of Malawi in the past six years.
Speaking during a media tour to some project implementation sites in Nkatabay and Mzimba Districts, Ripple Africa’s Country Director Force Ngwira said despite limited resources, his organisation has managed to help in restoration of forest cover.
“We have been supplying free exotic timber tree seedlings to farmers in several areas of the country while at the same time teaching them on the importance of an eco-friendly, field efficient cook stoves which have played a pivotal role in the reduction of wanton cutting down of trees, which is good for ecosystem,” Ngwira pointed out.
To supplement efforts in forest management in Nkhata Bay district, Ripple Africa has so far furnished 40 thousand households with environmentally friendly fuel-efficient cookstoves that use less firewood, a supplement in forest resource management.
The organization is also training the beneficiaries on how they can maintain the cookstoves themselves.
One of the forest management beneficiaries for the past three years who has managed to plant a total of 5 800 at Nkhorongo in the outskirts of Mzuzu City, Blessings Mkandawire thanked Ripple Africa for supplying him with exotic pine tree seedlings whose survival rate is 100 percent.
“I don’t have suitable words to be used in thanking Ripple Africa for the tree seedlings which I have planted in all my bare uplands where food crops were not doing fine, now I have a three year old forest with a total of 5 800 pine trees which is a fortune for me and my family,”
One of the field officers stationed at Nkhorongo in Mzuzu City, Cecilia Ngwira said the tree planting exercise has been very successful due to the involvement of the Ministry of Agriculture officials in identification of beneficiaries in the project.
The Director of Development Planning at Nkata-Bay District Isaac Mkandawire described intervention made by Ripple Africa in the district as strategic and essential in addressing some challenges that could not fully be addressed by Government.
“Ripple Africa has come up with various socioeconomic interventions that are truly addressing challenges that could fully be implemented by Government alone like the restoration of forests, you know trees were once treated as sacred entities but are now being destroyed in the name of urbanisation,” Said Mkandawire.
Currently, they have embarked on forests restoration projects in areas such as Choma, Doroba, Mbalachanda, Kafukule and Euthini in Mzimba District.
The organization is also taking a leading role in trying to change people’s mindset in tree management by increasing public awareness among communities about the value, significance and contribution of forests to balance life cycle on earth
On 21st March this year Ripple Africa and Malawi government joined the rest of the global village through United Nations General Assembly in the commemoration of an International Day of Forests which fell under the theme ‘Forest Restoration that will build a better future’