LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country coordinated environmental media body, Association of Environmental Journalists (AEJ)in Malawi on Saturday paired with Techno Brain, Lilongwe Water Board (LWB)and Malawi Defence Force (MDF)in planting trees exercise at Dzalanyama Forest Reserve which is Lilongwe River’s source.

This is an initiative aimed at helping restoring the heavily destroyed forest to its former glory.

The media body along side with its partners including Techno Brain and LWB has been planting trees in the forest for the past four years as a way of helping to sustain the environment.

On this year’s exercise, Information Technology company, Techno Brain bought 5000 seedlings plus T-shirt towards the planting initiative.

AEJ Secretary General Charles Mkoka emphasised the need for all stakeholders to corroborate with the media in environmental conservation.

Mkoka lauded the association’s partners for timely engagement towards the grouping’s objectives in the country.
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Techno Brain Project manager Tionge Chipeta-Mwandira said it was an obligation for the company to appreciate nature but covering it with seedlings towards Dzalanyama restoration.

Mwandira added that as the company that matters most on nature, will continue supporting other interested environmental body to look after environment.

“Techno Brain values nature so much that is why for four years we have been participating in this tree planting exercise right here at Dzalanyama and we are proud to be part of the efforts to restore this forest,” she said.

Secretary to government, Lloyd Muhara who led the exercise along side MDF commander, Griffin Supuni Phiri and Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama said Malawi government is hoping that Dzalanyama Forest Reserve is going to be restored if the survival rate on trees planted in the previous growing season can be sustained, adding that the seedlings survived by 78 percent.

However, MDF commander, Supuni Phiri, disputed the allegations that soldiers were brutal, adding that they were simply discharging their duties and those who didn’t like them were the law breakers.

Board chairperson for LWB Edward Chitsonga attributed the tree survival to good planting timing and good care provided to the trees.

According to Chitsonga the board planned to plant 6000 trees but planted only 1000 seedlings during the exercise so the remaining 5000 seedlings re planted on a better day when it was raining.

The biggest challenge to the Dzalanyama Forest has been the surrounding communities who fell down trees in order to make charcoal or sell the firewood. The practice has been so rampant that it felt like government was losing the battle until it engaged the Malawi Defense Force to guarding the forest.

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