Zomba — A group of men from Matawale Township in Zomba on Wednesday planted over 200 tree seedlings at Ndangopuma Hill where encroachment compromises afforestation efforts by environmental conscious groups in the district.
The group and Chinamwali Village Natural Resources Management Committee (VNRMC) planted the trees to provide vegetative cover to the bare hill.
Ndangopuma is closer to Chinamwali Hill and both hills used to boast of evergreen forest cover before encroachment took its toll.
Chairperson of the Matawale Men's Group, Retired Major Harry Soko said the group decided to join the rest of the country in this year's tree planting season to demonstrate its love for a green environment.
He said the group was concerned with the rate of deforestation in most hills and mountains in the city.
"Apart from tree planting, we also intend to do a lot of charitable activities in the city such as cheering the sick and those in prison," Soko said.
He commended the Chinamwali VNRMC for joining the men from Matawale in the tree planting exercise.
Councillor for Masongola Ward, Jameson Mulekere bemoaned the environmental degradation of the two hills, saying this was a setback to afforestation efforts.
He said it was regrettable to note that other government sectors responsible for land issues allocate land for residential plots without considering environmental degradation and its impact.
Mulekere added that a lot of degradation continues taking place due to human settlement on the foot of the hill and crop cultivation at the summit of the hill.
The Matawale men's group was established to promote the welfare and unity among men living along an avenue popularly known as G-String, a local entertainment joint.
Earlier in this year's tree planting season, Zomba Press Club, Beautify Malawi Trust Zomba Chapter, Youth Net and Counseling also planted trees in Ndangopuma and Chinamwali hills.