By Raphael Likaka
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire, Brighton Vitta Malasa called on students at St Luke’s College of Health Sciences at Malosa in Zomba to plant trees as a way of ensuring forest cover in bare areas.
The Bishop made the call at St Luke’s College of Health Sciences where students planted 1,000 trees seedlings as Malawi is still in the 2021/2022 Forestry Season.
The Bishop said the students have a role to play in environmental issues especially in afforestation saying trees have multiple significances on human life.
“You have a role to play in tree planting considering that trees are important in many ways such as providing oxygen apart from being used in making medicinal drugs,” said Malasa.
He said irresponsible cutting down of trees contributes to effects of climate change hence the need for all educational institutions under the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire to emulate what the students at St Luke’s did by planting trees at their campus.
He also appealed to all Anglican priests and other faith leaders to plant trees around their churches or mosques as part of the Forestry Season.
“Let me appeal to you fellow bishops, priests, pastors and sheikhs to plant as many trees as possible around our respective places of worship,” he added .
Bishop Malasa said the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire has an environmental programme called ‘Love Malawi, Plant a Tree’ which intends to plant more than 1 million trees in eight districts including all the 56 schools which are under the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire.
In his remarks, Principal of the St Luke’s College of Health Sciences, Maxwell Pangani said the college saw it necessary to participate in the 2021/2022 Forestry Season by planting trees considering that Malawi and the rest of the world is experiencing the effects of climate change mostly characterised by series of cyclones and stormy rains that are also destructive.
He added this was due to deforestation and other human malpractices on environment and natural resources.
“As an institution, we have observed that climate change is real and Malawi is equally affected,” Pangani said while blaming irresponsible cutting down of trees as one of the contributing factors to ozone layer depletion.
He therefore said the college has an obligation to plant trees because effects of climate change have negative impact on human health.
President of Students Union at the St Luke’s College of Health Sciences, Chifundo Likolome said the students planted the trees to demonstrate environmental consciousness so that the community around the college should follow suit by planting trees in their homes and other bare areas.
Likolome added that trees play an important role in human life as such the student will ensure that the planted trees survive for good use
St Luke’s College of Health Sciences belongs to the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire and has planted 1,000 tree seedlings. The College has about 800 students at the Malosa campus in Zomba.