Village Committee in Mangochi plants trees to conserve environment
Community establishes VNRC in Mangochi to conserve environment via tree planting-Bertha Gama.
Malawi-In November 2007, a Village Natural Resources Committee (VNRC) was established in Mangochi by community members to help authorities conserve the environment by planting trees in various places, writes Bertha Gama.
Judith Kanjelenjele, Chairperson for Sumbi VNRC, said the committee was organized to conserve the environment by planting trees after experiencing floods, which led to the demolition of houses and acute hunger due to a lack of rains in some seasons.
"It is very important to take part in conserving the environment in different ways, like planting trees and grass even around our homes, fields, and schools, as this helps to cover the vegetation during harsh weather conditions,” said Kanjelenjele.
"Our vision is to see our community as environmental champions in Mangochi and Malawi as a whole, which can only be achieved through collective efforts."
Sumbi VNRC has had fifteen members since 2007, and most of them are elderly, which poses a challenge to the work of the group as many of them are not as strong as young people to actively participate in tree-planting exercises.
Cecilia Milanzi, a vice secretary for Sumbi VNRC, said, "People are reluctant to join our group because there is no direct benefit, and we struggle to even find tree seedlings. So we keep our nurseries open so that when the rains come, we have trees to plant."
Despite these challenges, the committee members are passionate about their work, and they are making progress.
Milanzi said, "For this tree planting season, we decided to plant trees in parks and around Dzimwe community radio station because these two areas receive a lot of visitors and clients, hence the need to make them beautiful."
Milanzi further urged communities in the area to participate in various vegetation restoration activities, such as tree planting and the protection of the environment.
Station Manager for Dzimwe Community Radio, Justice Sumaili, is impressed with the committee’s passion.
"We are impressed that the committee considered covering the station's premises with trees, as this will help in environmental conservation. We will make sure to protect these trees for them to survive," said Sumaili.
John Makawa, one of the few young members of Sumbi VNRC, was motivated by the passion shown by members of the committee to reforest their surroundings.
"I am impressed with what the village natural resources committee is doing in our community, so I decided to join the group to encourage other youths to participate. The group needs strong people like us, the youths, who can cover long distances to do this work of conserving the environment," said Makawa.
Jacqueline Chikondi, a teacher at Masasa Primary School in Monkey Bay, has also been urging her students and other teachers to participate in the planting of trees and flowers.
The organization also hopes that more people will join in the fight against environmental problems.