Sapitwa Bee Keeping Association (SABA) in conjunction with Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust (MMCT) and the Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM) organised a tree planting launch on Friday 30th January 2015 in the area of Chief Nkumba under the traditional authority Njema in the Mulanje district. 

The event was to encourage the community to come together and promote a more sustainable environment. ICS volunteers played a fundamental role, planting trees with the locals and explaining how trees can decrease the risk of flooding through preventing soil erosion. An added benefit is that SABA also has plans to hang their beehives from the trees once they have grown which will help generate more money for the community. 

The event took place on the banks of the Inembo River which was one of the rivers badly affected by the recent flooding. It is still wet season here in Mulanje so throughout the day most people were under umbrellas and raincoats. However, the event was still a success despite the poor weather conditions. There were even performances from a local school choir, a comedy act, poems and traditional dancing that everyone enjoyed taking part in. 

The ICS volunteers were really happy to be involved in the launch. The event was seen as an opportunity to promote our team vision of ‘working together to inspire and ensure environmental sustainability for the people of Mulanje.’ Overall around 60 trees were planted and the types of trees included: Ntanga Danga, Mbawa, Msambama Fumu and Choneya. Choneya and Mbawa are good for holding the soil better especially around river banks. 

Amongst the many people who came to support the tree planting launch we were pleased to have the presence of the honourable Daudi Chida- Member of Parliament for Mulanje Limbuli constituency, Chief Nkhumba and senior MMCT officials. We spoke with Chief Nkhumba and he was happy with the development saying “the tree planting launch will help prevent floods and soil erosion in the future.”

Overall the day was a great success and the ICS volunteers thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Prior to the event the learning facilitators within the group facilitated workshops on waste management and tree planting so the event was a great opportunity for TEAM DZIWE to practice what they had learnt as well as being able to greet the community with a stronger knowledge on sustainable living. 

By Memory Matumula, Jessica Lameck and Erin Gregory.