There are a number of issues that are a threat to the destruction of the environment in Malawi and one of them is deforestation. Malawi’s rural residents cut down trees in the local area to use for firewood, building structures to house their livestock and constructing fishing boats. All these are the agents of deforestation which results into low crop yields due to the loss of fertile soils and low rainfall. This wanton cutting down of trees threatens the environment with desertification, soil erosion, low rainfall, etc. The result is soil erosion which wipes away the soil nutrients which help in the growth of the crops in Malawi. Also, when the trees are cut down, low rainfall follows and as a result the crops will not grow well which brings on food insecurity. Most of the areas in Malawi are threatened by deforestation.
With deforestation being such a real and growing issue facing the population of Sangilo and Malawi, Determined to Develop is trying to tackle this problem by planting and caring for a variety of seedlings on a daily basis. Determined to Develop’s Reforestation Program helps to ensure the seedlings grow successfully then later distributes them by the thousands to be planted by the local community.
It’s the rainy season in Malawi and that means it is the time of the year when we plant trees throughout the village to combat deforestation! This year, Determined to Develop has two main reforestation projects, one in Sangilo village (our home area) and another at the new Wasambo High School. In the middle of January, the project kicked off with the Tionerepo Woodlot Club launching it’s initiative at Wasambo High School. The club has been contracted to plant 10,000 Blue Gum (eucalyptus) trees surrounding the new high school site. Determined to Develop’s sponsored youth planted tubes of seeds, which grew into seedlings, and cared for the tree seedlings daily until they were ready to be transplanted at the high school site.
On January 20th, Determined to Develop was involved in ceremonial kickoff of the village tree planting ceremony for Sangilo with our Executive Director Matt Maroon invited as the guest of honor. Over 600 trees were planted around the village in the first few hours. The villagers were also taught how to care for and handle the trees. It was awesome to see the chiefs, women’s groups, our staff, sponsored youth and the entire community engaged with Determined to Develop’s Reforestation Program.