Determined to Develop (D2D) recognizes the beauty of Malawi as its headquarters are located at the Maji Zuwa (“Water and Sun”) resort, which sits directly beside Lake Malawi. With the Tanzanian mountains lingering beyond the lake, our view looking out from the resort is breath-taking. Such aesthetic elegance is not limited to Lake Malawi, but reaches the entirety of the lush and mountainous Malawian countryside. Unfortunately this environmental allure is proving it cannot last forever.
Malawi has an extremely high rate of deforestation, or the removal of a forest or trees where the land is then used for non-forest use. This elevated rate stems from the country’s large dependence on wood, in the form of firewood or charcoal, as its primary source for fuel. Moreover lack of adequate forest monitoring, environmental education, and access to alternative fuel sources amplifies the deforestation crisis. However, D2D, among other NGOs, has recognized the importance of revitalizing Malawi’s forests.
Through its environment cornerstone, D2D is currently researching how it can better its reforestation efforts. Two of the primary researchers for these efforts are Corey Kuminecz, a 2017 University of Dayton Malawi Practicum cohort member, and Forbes Tembo, D2D’s Health, Nutrition and Environment Manager. The two are gathering information from local villagers, Malawian governmental offices, and other NGOs involved with reforestation projects. Having provided villagers with thousands of trees last January, D2D is conducting this research with interest to pursue more substantial and sustainable reforestation practices.
The specifics of future reforestation projects organized by D2D are not yet set in stone, but one thing is for certain; they will be a collaborative effort with the local community. It will be this unified effort that will both beautify and remediate the environment of Malawi.