Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let everyone plant a tree says Dr Mutharika

GOOD LEADERSHIP: The smartly dressed Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika leading by example by watering his tree after planting two seedlings to mark the launch of the National Forestry Season. Pic by Malawi Digest.

By Frank Malemia

Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika has issued a directive ordering the government’s Department of Forestry to provide for free, tree seedlings to everyone wishing to open woodlots and those planting along rivers and streams to ensure that more trees are planted during this year’s forestry season.

Although he made this public directive, Dr Mutharika cautioned those benefiting from this free service not to abuse the government’s good gesture by selling the seedlings.

President Dr Mutharika, was speaking on Tuesday at the headquarters of Traditional Authority Nkalo in the southern region district of Chiradzulu.

In his speech marking the launch of this year’s National Forestry Season, Dr Mutharika said that he was aware that forests in the country are getting depleted at a faster rate than expected mainly for energy in forms of firewood and charcoal.

The State President said that it was for this reason that his government is putting in place mechanisms that would help reduce the rate of deforestation in the country.

Dr Mutharika disclosed that his government is not just sitting idle but exploring other alternatives for energy such as the use of small hydro power stations to ensure that electricity is available in all areas within the affordable means for most Malawians.

He said, his government has intensified the afforestation programme, hence the introduction of the forestry season to enable more individuals, institutions and organizations to plant as many trees as possible.

He said that it was his wish to see that all the bare land especially on hills, slopes and along rivers and streams is forested through out Malawi.

“Let’s try to restore the environment which used to be there in the past. There used to be different forestry products in this area which I enjoyed during my childhood days,” recalled the State President.

He appealed to all traditional leaders in the country to join hands with government in encouraging the Malawian population to plant more trees. The same message was also sent to all cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament and all senior government officials.

To mark the launch of this year’s National Forestry Season, the State President led by example by planting two tree seedlings namely; m’bawa and nthete.

President Mutharika planted the tree seedlings along Namitembe river near Traditional Authority Nkalo’s headquarters.

This year’s National Forestry Season (NFS) which runs from the 15th of December to the 15th of April, 2010 under the theme ‘Conserve Forests and Trees Mitigate Climate Change’.

The two seedlings that the State President planted, are among 65 million seedlings that the Malawi government expects people to plant during the national forestry season.

The exercise takes place throughout Malawi-Malawi Digest.

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