On February 2nd, 2024, the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Honorable Liana Kakhobwe Chapota, officially inaugurated the 2024 Southern Region Water Board (SRWB) Tree Planting Season at Mulunguzi Dam in Zomba District. The ceremony, held under the theme “Forest Innovation in Action: Restoration for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” saw Chapota urging communities and stakeholders to collaborate with the government in reforestation efforts. Emphasizing the critical role of trees in preserving water sources and ensuring air and water quality for human well-being, Chapota underscored the historical responsibility of past generations in maintaining the water supply.
Addressing the audience, the Deputy Minister drew attention to the lessons learned from the impact of climate change and environmental degradation, notably citing the events of Cyclone Freddy in 2023. She stressed the need for increased tree planting to mitigate such effects and secure a sustainable future for the nation.
Chapota expressed gratitude to Malawi Housing Corporation and Malawi Police Service for their generous contributions of trees to SRWB, acknowledging their significant support to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation. In her closing remarks, she further urged individuals to view tree planting as a collective responsibility, emphasizing the government’s commitment to monitor the survival and growth of the planted trees.
In his remarks, Mr. Brown Mpinganjira, the Board Chairman for SRWB, highlighted the critical dependence of Mulunguzi Dam, the primary water source for the Southern Region, on trees. Deforestation, he cautioned, poses a serious threat to the dam’s sustainability. Mpinganjira explained that the SRWB has initiated seasonal tree planting along Mulunguzi Dam and its catchment area to safeguard the dam’s water supply.
The tree planting event witnessed the participation of various entities, including Malawi Housing Corporation, Malawi Defense Force, Malawi Police Service, District and City Council, Chiefs, students, and other stakeholders. As part of the 2024 Tree Planting Season, SRWB aims to plant 100,000 trees in the Southern Region and an additional 73,000 at Chawe, the location of Mulunguzi Dam.