Young people told to lead care for environment


As climate change is increasingly exacerbating droughts, flooding and inconsistent rainfall, a call has gone out to the younger generation to take a leading role in caring for the environment so as to mitigate the effects and build a better future.

Environment Education and Communication Manager for Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM), Osward Bonongwe, made the call on Thursday 15th February, 2024 in Blantyre during a tree planting exercise at Michiru mountain in Khombwe village, Blantyre, courtesy of Old Mutual Malawi.

Bonongwe said the younger generation need to be in the forefront in all afforestation activities in the country, claiming doing so, is brightening their own future, hence their idea to introduce Wildlife Clubs.

The WESM Environment Education and Communication Manager further encouraged parents, guardians and authorities to nature the younger generation in their respective communities to be the custodians of the environment adding that it may in the realization of the 2063 national agenda.

“These young people are wildlife clubs. As you are aware that wildlife and environmental Society of Malawi, we run wildlife clubs of Malawi and they are in different areas and these young people, they are the people that will biologically live longer and they are the owners of the trees that are being planted.

“So ideally, we would like to nature them, to give them a spirit of loving the environment, to give them a spirit of taking care of the environment and also to build a better nation. So we always work with young people. In all our events, we make sure that all population dynamic issues are also included. The young people, they form a central stage and the central part in as far as development issues are concerned,” said Bonongwe.

Speaking at the event, Old Mutual Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Edith Jiya who was the guest of honour, said it is encouraging that locals including the younger generation are now taking a role in restoring the nature on Michiru mountain and the country at large.

She said after seeing how bare Michiru mountain is, they felt that it is their duty to come and take part in restoring the lost glory and she further expressed hope that the community will help them in sustaining the trees which they have planted there.

“The exercise has gone on very well, we have seen just how united the team is in this particular community, but we have also seen leadership from the village headman as well as the group village headman. We have heard about the bylaws that they have set in place, which actually encourages us that the work that we are doing here will be very sustainable.

“Through our partners, Wildlife Environmental Society of Malawi, through the community leaders here, we believe that what we have done here will be sustainable. We are really trusting on the commitment that they have said to us that they will be looking after these trees that come five years from now, these trees will have regenerated and there will be complete cover in this area,” said Jiya.

She concluded by expressing commitment towards dealing with any societal challenge claiming if communities have challenges, Old Mutual as a business, will as well face that challenge.