A local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Nkhotakota, Youth with a Goal, has called on the youths in the district to take a leading role in reforestation efforts in order to preserve the environment.
The organizations Director, Esther Makalande, made the call on Wednesday during a Nkhotakota youth clubs tree planting launch which took place at Chiphole primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kanyenda in the district.
Makalande said since the youths make up a larger percentage of the country population, their involvement in tree planting activities was important.
“The youths are a readily available resource who needs to be motivated and supported so that they utilize their skills.”
“Beside encouraging youths to plants trees, especially fruit trees, our organization, with support from UNICEF is training them in various skills such as the making of briquettes.”
The Director said the long term objective of the initiative is to enable youths, most of whom are unemployed, to become economically independent and at the same time conscious of the need to preserve the environment.
“We also identify skills in them such as in music and Art drawing among others, and support them,” she said.
Nkhotakota District Youth Officer, Arberson Mwale hailed the initiative by Youth with a Goal, observing planting trees was the youth’s responsibility.
“This will benefit them because as they plant fruit trees to restore the environment, they will benefit from these in the long run.
“At the moment some NGOs are running programs where youths involved in tree planting are also trained in various skills which benefit them,” he said.
One of the youths Jonasi Jafali from Chiphole Youth Club said he felt obliged to participate in the tree planting exercise because of its future benefits.
“We are seeing areas deforested and I thought of taking part in this exercise. The wanton cutting down of trees is a worrying situation and as youths we need to do something about it because the future belong to us,” he said.
According to Makalande, for this season, her organization is working with five youth clubs in the district which are Kamwala, Katimbira, Jenja, Chiphole, Tadziwana and Agamu.
4000 fruit trees were distributed to the five youth clubs and expect same number of households to benefit from the project this year, according to Makalande.
By Stanley Nkhondoyachepa