Political tension, COVID-19 affects 2019-2020 tree palnting exercise

As 2019/202 planting season comes to an end, stakeholders in environmental conservation have said political tension and Covid-19 pandemic have affected this year’s tree planting exercise.

This comes as the tree planting season came to an end on Wednesday 15 April 2020.

Mathews Malata
Mathews Malata (AEJ president)

During the launch, Malawi’s president Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika said Malawi has targeted to plant 62 million trees this year.

However, as the planting season closes, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) and Association of Environmental Journalists  (AEJ) have said the 201/2020 tree planting season has not achieved its goals of planting 62 million trees as it  has been disturb by political crisis and the Corona virus pandemic.

According to AEJ president Mathews Malata, though Malawians demonstrated an interest to plant more trees this year, organizations and individuals were pulled back from the initiative due to political tensions.

“I doubt if we have managed to plant the targeted number of trees.  But I urged Malawians to take care of the few trees we have planted”, Said Malata.

Commenting on the same, CEPA programs Manager Gloria Magetsi Kamoto said the 2019-2020 tree planting exercise has been affected because government kept a tight lid on how the funds allocated to the initiative was used.

“Two years ago Government announced that there is funds to will help youths o plant tress across the country but we do not know how this money has been used”, Kamoto said.

She however said Malawi would achieve reforestation and regeneration of 4.5 hectares of degraded land by 2030 if government is accountable on funds to the initiative.

The Malawi government allocated 1.4 billion Kwacha for Malawi Youth Forest Restoration Programme (MYFRP).

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