February 3, 2017 by Staff Reporter
Survival rate of trees to be planted during this year’s and the coming tree planting seasons is expected to rise if the tree survival campaign continues to be effectively implemented.
Director of Forestry in the Ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, Dr Clement Chilima on Wednesday said this to Malawi News Agency (Mana) after opening the reforestation campaign Millennium Challenge Account Malawi in conjunction with Kalpataru Power Transmitting Limited is implementing at Bubuya Village in Ntcheu.
Over the years, government and various stakeholders have been investing huge chunks of money and efforts in tree planting exercises but at the end of the day, the number of trees that survive has always been low, a thing the director of forestry observes:
“We realized that in every tree planting season, millions of trees were planted, but we do not get to see all of them survive. This is the reason we decided to start the tree survival campaign. This is a campaign whereby after the planting season is over; we go back and follow up on the trees that were planted to make sure they survive. This started after the previous planting season and is now an annual activity,” Chilima said.
According to the director, the tree survival rate for the previous tree planting season was 55 per cent but the figure is expected rise after this year’s planting season.
“There were a lot of factors that contributed to the dying of large numbers of trees. One of the main reasons was that there was not enough water for the trees to survive due to poor rains in some parts of Malawi. On the other hand, it was because of the poor care communities provide to the trees,” he said.
According to Chilima, seedlings planted by communities had low survival rates compared to different places where government was in charge of the trees’ survival, for example in plantations.
He added: “The current survival rate of tree in most of our plantations is 70 per cent. The only reason we failed to reach 100 per cent was because of the forest fires, but with the various measures put in place; we are going to get to that.”