In the Salima District of Malawi, an historic movement of environmental awareness has taken place. The celebration, incorporating World Forestry Day and World Water Day, was the first of its kind in Salima. Progressio worked with our partner organisation, Environment Africa, to make the day a success, ensuring a diverse range of people engaged with the crucial message of climate awareness. Now, as we appraoch World Environment Day, we look back on the day of action.

The celebration carried the theme, “Integrating Forestry and Water for Sustainable Development”. With the collaboration of government departments, national organisations and local Chiefs, the event brought in crowds of school children, farmers and Village Natural Resources Management Committees.

The collaboration focused on raising awareness on environmental issues that affect sustainable development. This was particularly relevant as the people of Salima are working to combat climate change while building resilient communities.

The event started with a tree planting exercise along Linthipe River to encourage communities to think about the dangers of stream bank cultivation. This also promoted the importance of integrating forestry and water activities in conservation efforts. One crucial aspect of the exercise was the planting of water recharging indigenous Mbawa trees along the river banks.

An organised march from Linthipe River to the Salima Community Grounds followed the tree planting exercise. The music, messages and songs performed during the road show further raised awareness on the importance of environmental conservation. The event finished at the Salima Community Grounds with speeches and further entertainment.

"The historic event was the first of its kind in Salima,” Olivia Muza, a Progressio development worker in Malawi, said. “It successfully brought the Forestry and Water Departments to work together on issues of national concern. The event raised awareness on the value of forests and water, which are crucial in sustainable development. The event demonstrated a perfect example for future collaboration and new possibilities for working towards sustainable development."

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