Chintheche,18th February, 2023: URAC organized a tree planting exercise with pupils from Uhoho and Msomba primary schools and planted 200 acacia tree species along the M5 Road between Lisambi Bus stop and Luweya Bridge in Nkhata-Bay district.
Speaking at the start of the exercise Senior Village Headman Chenyentha commended URAC for the initiative saying “the initiative was very important because trees along the road provide shade to pedestrians.’ He pledged to make personal follow ups and ensure the trees are taken care of by pupils and farmers along the M5 road.
Alick Banda who represented Group Village Headwoman Kalegha, said he was happy to be part of the URAC annual tree planting initiative with primary school pupils. He said: “We feel privileged to be part of this annual activity.
It helps pupils to link what they learn in class and the hands on experience they need to have when at their homes. We know they have afforestation topics in their syllabus and now they have a chance to practice how trees are planted.”
In his remarks Dr Mtafu Manda, the executive director of URAC stated that the initiative is meant to promote environmental stewardship among school pupils from their early ages and as they grow they check on the growth of their trees so they can be proud contributors to environmental management when they grow up. He said each pupil is the owner of each tree planted and will take care of it over the years. He said; ‘’Our target is to beautify the M5 Road from Kaning’ina in Mzuzu to Dwangwa Town.’’
In the past 5 years Urac has been planting trees at 8 primary school woodlots of Mdyaka, Bungano, Chihame, Chintheche, Bandawe, Mgodi, Uhoho, and Msomba. 2023 is the start of road beautification initiative which will see the M5 road and local villages streets planted with trees on both sides. The tree planting exercise this year targeted standard 7 pupils so that they have one year to look after their trees. If a tree dies during this period URAC will provide replacement seedlings.
As part of pupil motivation to work hard, Dr Manda promised to provide K10,000 to students who will score first position in the third term to enter standard 8 at each school.