Assistant Forestry Officer for Neno, Aubrey Macheso said the area has lost 60 percent of its forest cover and that there’s need for concerted efforts to replenish the vegetation.
Hunger Project is meanwhile implementing a 272 Million Kwacha project to reforestate the area while at the same time equipping communities with social – economic skills.
Lisungwi in Neno is surely heading towards an environmental catastrophe; that is if the current rate of deforestation is anything to go by.
The area has lost 60 percent of its forest. Kasamba Village in Traditional Authority Symon, one of the heavily deforested areas in the district; and Lisungwi River passes through the village on its way to the Shire River.
Like many rivers in this area, Lisungwi is now exposed. Its vegetative cover is gone and when it pours heavily, floods are an obvious occurrence. Trees in the area are a sure source of income, and therefore survival.
“The problem is that people in this earlier depend on charcoal selling but the good thing is we have planted early maturing trees that also return nutrients to the soil like Nsangu , Mulinga and Chammwamba,“ said Aubrey Macheso , Assistant District Forestry Officer.
Hunger Project is mobilizing communities to dress up river banks and this tree planting exercise is but one of the many activities aimed at making Lisungwi green again.
Mackenzie Mkalapa, Head of Programmes for Hunger Project – said, “it was very hard at first to work in this area since they fully depend on charcoal but then we come up with other ways of which they can be making money like banki nkhonde.“
In his remarks, Councilor for Lisungwi Ward, Patrick Mwale said the communities in the area are keen to reverse the environmental damage.
More than 800 thousand trees are expected to be planted in the area in the next three years.