Head of Forestry Department at MZUNI, Dalo Njera, indicates that among others, the initiative is aimed at encouraging the surrounding communities to plant and manage trees to avert effects of climate change.
'As an institution of higher learning, we do not exist as an ivory tower. We need to respond to the challenges that the surrounding communities face and one such area is environmental degradation hence our involvement,’ said Njera.
A model community day secondary school, Ezondweni in Mzimba North is almost bare, rendering the institution prone to storms and other related disasters.
The head teacher for Ezondweni Community Day Secondary School, Kennedy Longwe, says: ‘As you can see, the school is almost bare as all the trees around were cut down. Our school infrastructure is prone to storms. And we also use firewood for cooking. We use 45 tons of fuel wood in a term. Wherever the wood comes from, the forests are being depleted. So the trees we are planting around the school premises will help us greatly.’
First of its kind and championed by the Department of Forestry under the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, members of the academic staff from Mzuzu University have undertaken the tree planting outreach program involving different departments which include Mathematics, History, Languages, Biology, Nursing and Midwifery and the Forestry department.