About 6,500 M’bawa trees have been planted in Mzuzu by celebrated Hill Climbing Club (HCC) and Malawi Defence Force’s 3rd Malawi Rifles (3MR) of Moyale Barracks.
The event started with a walk and run that totalled 17km from Mzuzu ShopRite participated by Officers, fondly known as the Kaning’ina Lions, led by 101 Brigade Commander Col. Rodrick Mbalakumwendo, followed by Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Thokozani Chazema.
Speaking right after planting trees at Choma Forest Reserve, Lt. Col. Chazema who was key in organising the event alongside HCC, said trees ensure a clean, better, and sustained life and ecosystem for generations now and to come.
“Millions of trees have been planted. What is key is to ensure that what we have planted today is cared for, so that we realize high survival rate. We have planted these trees especially for you the young people who are here for your greater future.
“Our generation found trees including various indigenous fruit trees, but we have destroyed all that to charcoal and firewood energy and business, careless logging, and failed to replant where we utilised. This has left us with a diversely changed environment and struggle to survive,” he told a gathering of the physical exercise participants and delegates from various institutions.
School children were part and parcel of the tree planting initiative.
Officers Mess Moyale Barracks, Col. Mbalakumwendo emphasized the need for everyone to take part in initiatives designed to reclaim the destroyed and degraded environment.
“I am glad that you found space to be with us in this important event. I recognise that important institutions like the ones you represent found it important to join us. Trees are life. They help to keep the land fertile. They help against land degradation hence climate change induced catastrophies such as floods, famine, and dry spells, among others. Trees also give us fresh air. Mostly important is that we also recognised the need for physical exercise by walking and running all this distance as we marched to plant the trees.
“As a Defence Force we are proud to be associated with positive and constructive initiatives that protect our environment, improves our health and lifestyles, and mostly engage us with others in building a harmonized and better Malawi. Doing things together yields success,” he said, thanking HCC delegates for initiating the activity and coordinating successfully with 3MR.
Godfrey Chindenga, patron for the HCC, expressed gratitude that the MDF and 3MR in particular continues to work with HCC, and for inviting the club and allocating it with a patch of land at Kaning’ina to reaforest.
“We don’t take this for granted. As you also indicated during our last hike of Kaning’ina, exercise and especially hiking builds better health and immunity and resistance against none communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as BP, stress and depression, and many others. Engaging in exercise also has spiritual and mental benefits and can help avoid mental health induced challenges such as suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and many more.
“The trees we planted are a continued tie of stronger partnership between HCC and 3MR in years to come,” he said.
Introducing the HCC to delegates at the reception, Coordinator M’theto Lungu said the club, which was created by serving military Officers and civilians in 2016 is open to all professions, genders, ages and physical levels.
“We are a fitness and healthy living initiative with no borders. Our membership transcends Malawi’s border with presence in the USA, UK, DRC, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, and beyond. We congregate online on a daily basis to encourage each other and share experiences, and physically every month end last Saturday for a physical activity including hikes, road walks, and others. We have been around the country and also raise funds to support the needy, and are geared and focused on awareness in areas of environment and climate change, gender-based Violence (GBV), and emerging issues such as pandemics and other forms of social ineptitudes requiring redress. You don’t need to drink herbs alone to be fit. Exercise assures one of the best performance in many facets of life – spiritually, mentally, physically,” he said.
The activity, which started around 7:30am, was participated by Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Police Mobile Force (PMF) members led by Northern Region Police Commissioner Rhoda Manjolo, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Regional Director, National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Nkhata Bay office, National Insurance Company (NICO), Old Mutual, Northern Region Water Board (NRWB), Water for Zoe, among others.
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