6 February 2019

Malawi: GVH Talks Tough On Environmental Conservation

Group Village Headwoman (GVH) Kasale of Traditional Authority Kwataine in Ntcheu has warned her subjects in the district against depleting forests in her area.

The chief was speaking in an interview with journalists who were on a tour organized by Malawi Lake Basin Consortium on Monday.

She said it was worrisome to note that forests are depleted every day, leaving hills bare, a development she said was bringing negative impact on the lives of people in the area and district as a whole.

"You can see that the rate at which forests are depleted is higher than that at which trees are planted.

"This is a bad situation to leave unattended to. This is why I am warn everyone in this area that if they continue cutting down the remaining trees in the forests and hills, I will deal with them," she said.

GVH Kasale said she would want to see forests in the area being replenished and be in the state they used to be some twenty years ago when no one could see a hill lying bare.

She said she would ensure that people in the area take the responsibility of conserving the environment through the implementation of by-laws that were developed by Study Circle Groups in the area. The by-laws aimed at conserving the environment.

According to Kasale, her subjects plant trees every year and care for the regenerants as one way of restoring forests and vegetative cover which were destroyed through charcoal burning, wanton cutting down of trees for firewood and construction works among others.

Menard Sato of Kasale Cluster said it was a remarkable development to see that traditional leaders take lead in conservation of forests in the area.

"There are 523 members in our cluster that are engaged in conservation and management of forests as well as village savings and loans (VSLs).

"What is pleasing is that we have GVH Kasale amongst us and she always takes lead in conserving the environment," said Sato.

Through trainings and other extension services provided by Malawi Lake Basin Programme, members of Kasale Cluster have restored some of the forests in the area.

They have also established VSL groups that are currently contributing money through shares that have changed lives of people in the area.

Malawi Lake Basin Programme aims at reducing poverty and vulnerability to climate change among communities in Ntcheu, Mangochi, Salima and Kasungu.

It is implemented by We Effect, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperation (MUSCCO), National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM), Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) and Vi Agroforestry.

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