By Charles Mphwere
Blantyre — Zanzibar University Muslim Graduates Association (ZUMUGA) has reiterated the need to reforest Blantyre Water Board's (BWB) Ndirande – Mudi catchment area as one way of mitigating water problems in the commercial city.
ZUMUGA Chairperson for Blantyre Chapter, Dan Kamanga made the observation on Saturday during a tree planting exercise which the association organised in an effort to protect and conserve BWB's catchment area which has lost most of its trees due to deforestation.
"We all know that the environment has been affected due to the careless cutting down of trees and BWB catchment area is no exceptional, it has been badly affected such that most trees are gone and some of the water problems we have now are due to deforestation within the catchment area," Kamanga observed.
"We came here with an objective of assisting in the efforts of restoring the vegetative cover to conserve the environment and making sure that Blantyre as a city has clean and enough water to cater for all of us," he added.
Kamanga, therefore, appealed to the surrounding communities to be environmentally conscious by ensuring that the trees within the catchment were not cut down haphazardly.
"Blantyre City is for all of us and when one person cuts down trees, the effects of that action will automatically affect all of us. For that reason, we need to be custodians of each other so that our actions do not bring any negative effects to the environment," Kamanga emphasised.
Kamanga also called upon people around the catchment area to plant at least a tree at home or within the catchment area.
"I would like to encourage people especially the youth to be planting trees because it will do us more good than continuing cutting down trees without replacing them," he advised.
Speaking on behalf of BWB management, Precious Guzani, BWB's laboratory technician, thanked the association for the noble task of complementing efforts by the board and other partners in restoring trees in Mudi catchment area.
"We are very appreciative of the job that you have done after seeing that we don't have trees around Mudi catchment area. The gesture to join us in doing this noble exercise cannot be taken for granted and we therefore encourage others to emulate what ZUMUGA has done," Guzani said.
The Ndirande – Mudi catchment area covers an area of 890 hectares and has been heavily encroached by people living around it a development that has led to pollution and siltation of the dam from various activities taking place in the catchment.
In 2008 the catchment area was gazetted as a water controlled area and since then BWB through the Ndirande – Mudi Catchment Management Committee has been reclaiming the land from the encroachers and the reclaimed land has been re – planted with trees.
During the exercise over 500 Mtangatanga and Mahogany seedlings were planted.