St. George Academy saves Likhubula River catchment area
A local organisation known as St. George Academy and Orphanage Support Trust has won the support of members from surrounding communities in saving the main catchment area for Likhubula River in Blantyre district.
This is being realised through a two-year project called Kunthembwe Environmental Conservation and Land Rehabilitation which the organisation is implementing under group village headman Makanjira in the area of traditional authority Kunthembwe.
According to the Project Manager, Bright Beula, the catchment area covers over 10 hectares of land and that the initiative is of national importance.
“Likhubula River, whose outlet is Shire River, flows from this area. And through Shire River, we have two hydroelectric power stations of Nkula and Tedzani which supply electricity throughout the country. This entails the significance of the work we are doing is great,” he said.
Beula added that under the project which started in 2019, they have managed to raise relevant community awareness, buy beekeeping equipment as well as nursery tools and materials, besides training women groups on village savings and loans.
The initiative was also lauded by Ignasio Galeta, a community member from Makanjira. Galeta, who is also a member of Kunthembwe Forest Conservation Group, said they fully welcomed the project and as a demonstration of their commitment they regularly plant trees and make firebreaks in the catchment area voluntarily.
“This area had a heavily forested landscape over a decade ago. Things changed due to deforestation. But through civic education done under this project, it has instilled a sense of ownership in us, and it’s now the community owning the work,” Galeta said.
According to Beula, they project to plant not less than 100,000 trees and protect not less than 500,000 of the available natural trees in the catchment area by 2021.
The project is being funded by Malawi Environmental Endowment Trust (MEET).