Lilongwe: Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has expressed concern over the rate at which trees are being cut down in the country saying this is one of the contributing factors to disasters that come about because the land is bare.
Dausi made the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he visited and offered material support to families affected by stormy rains in Traditional Authorities (TA) Chitukula and Tsabango respectively.
He said wanton cutting down of trees has led to climate change issues where winds just blow without a break or buffer causing house roofs to be blown off.
For this reason, the minister appealed to chiefs to encourage their subjects to plant trees around their houses in order for them to have woodlots which will act as a barriers to strong winds or stormy rains.
Trees act as a buffer when stormy winds come. It also helps in vegetation and attracts oxygen hence the need to plant trees and care for them as the rainy season is beginning. Whatever type of tree, let the communities plant, we want Malawi to be green, he said.
He said if the communities do not plant trees disasters such as the one which happened in TAs Chitukula and Tsabango will continue to happen each year.
However, Dausi said despite trees being planted each and every year, taking care of them is another thing hence he emphasized on tree management in order for the trees to survive and have the much needed woodlots that would work towards addressing climate change issues which come due to deforestation.
The minister further said that such disasters would continue to happen and as such there is need for community awareness on how to build houses properly.
According to weather forecast, there will be elnino and as such the country might experience such kind of disasters as floods and stormy winds.
We need to find ways of ensuring that when such disasters happen houses should stand, he observed.
Both TA Tsabango and Chitukula were thankful for the assistance saying it would go a long way in assisting the affected households start all over again.
They both agreed with the minister on the need to plant and manage trees in order to avoid disasters such as these.
On November 23, this year, stormy rains affected a total of 64 households in TAs Tsabango and Chitukula.
Assessment conducted by the Lilongwe District Council indicated that the affected houses had their roofs blown off and that food and non food items were damaged.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA