Malawi Youth Forest Restoration program (MYFRP) has been implemented successfully in Phalombe District,
The program is one of the initiatives launched President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and aims at creating jobs to the youths and conserving the environment.
“The district has reached is target of 189 hectares for tree planting and 469 hectares for natural regeneration management,” Mtambo said after a media tour of some areas in Phalombe.
Mtambo said that the project was in two phases: tree planting and protection of natural regeneration.
“Under tree planting the project had three sets of activities like land clearing, planting, weeding where the youths were paid based on hectare and land clearing. On natural regeneration area, the purpose was to clear the area to reduce fire hazards and also promote natural generation by removing the excess weeds,” said Mtambo.
However the forestry officer urged youth in the district to continue looking after the planted trees.
“The government has done its part in kick-starting the program and it is up to the youths to take ownership of the planted trees even without any other incentives in terms of funding because the trees will help to moderate climate change and even help these youths in future with firewood and many things,” added Mtambo.
District youth officer for the district, Ian Sukali, said the youth of Phalombe have achieved a lot under MYFRP as it has increased their economic activities such as venturing into small scale businesses with the money that they have earned out of the program.
One of the beneficiaries of the project, Frank Mehiwa of Phalombe Active Youth Organization, said the money which they have earned through the project would go a long way into reducing some of the problems that they have been facing as individuals and youth clubs respectively.
Mehiwa added that the program has accorded them valuable lessons in as far as forestry management is concerned.
Malawi government through the Parliament in the 2018/2019 national budget allocated K5 billion into MYFRP which recruited over 10,000 youths across the country.