The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited joined hands with the Blantyre City Council in a tree-planting exercise on Tuesday, March 2 2021 in Blantyre.
The official ceremony kick-starting the planting of 7,000 tree seedlings across the country took place at Naperi Community Ground.
Guest of honour, Blantyre City Deputy Mayor, Councillor Joseph Makwinja, graced the ceremony marking the start of the exercise which is taking place under the theme: 'Greening Malawi: My Responsibility.'
In his speech, Makwinja hailed ESCOM for complementing the government's efforts in environmental conservation through the tree-planting initiative.
"Let me commend ESCOM and its management for joining the government which launched the Tree-Planting initiative through President Dr Lazarus Chakwera on December 16 last year," he said.
"We all admit that Blantyre was once a green city and one of the cleanest in this part of the world, but we have lost forest cover due to deforestation, which has in turn, resulted in soil erosion among others."
Mwakwinja urged the public and private sector organisations to emulate ESCOM's tree-planting initiative.
"The Blantyre City Council is doing a lot to ensure that more trees are planted in the city. However, the council cannot manage to fulfill all this task alone. The council needs support of all sectors," he said.
Taking his turn, ESCOM Regional Manager for the South, McVittie Chiphwanya, said the corporation was delighted to join hands with the council in the exercise.
"ESCOM attaches great importance to tree-planting exercises such as the one we are about to embark on and indeed, all efforts to conserve the environment," he said.
"To emphasise the importance of environmental conservation, ESCOM has a fully-fledged Department of the Environment which ensures that the Corporation carries out its operations in an environmentally sustainable and friendly manner."
Chiphwanya added that ESCOM felt obliged to plant trees as they are the major source of raw materials, such as electricity poles, which the Corporation uses.
"Through this Department, ESCOM plants trees in the range of 5,000 to 7,000 annually during every scheduled Tree-Planting exercise," he said.
After the speeches, a dancing troupe entertained the gathering which eventually went to plant trees along Naperi River banks, just a stone's throw away from Naperi ground.
Councillor Makwinja and Chiphwanya took the lead in planting the trees.
Tree-planting is a permanent feature on the calendar of events for ESCOM, which is a State-owned power utility company charged with procuring, distributing and transmitting electricity in the country.
Recently, the government launched the 2020/21 National Forestry Season under the theme: Trees and Forests for Improved Health and Well-being."
The government has a National Climate Change Management policy meant to combat deforestation which has led to the loss of estimated 13 percent of the country's forest cover.