Republic of Malawi
By: Gift Chimulu
When members of Tulimbangane Village Natural Resources Management Committee under the famous M’baluku village in the area of Traditional Authority Chowe in Machochi surfaced their ambitious dream of restoring one of a close by bare land in 2011, no one gave them a score while those in the majority showered them with intimidations.
Eight years down the line, the committee with technical support from Mangochi District Forestry Office has managed not only to restore 43 hectares of Tsanya forest area but also managed to impress 23 members from the same community to join them in the course of restoring the endangered protected tree species.
According to the committees Chairperson Muhammad Chilingo their zeal to manage and restock their community with the most popular tree species across the borders follows threats of the species’ extinction in their community.
He said following ever increased demand for the tree at both local and international markets, members of the community were in no time coerced to illegally cut and sell Tsanya to middle men who letter smuggled the same beyond borders.
“We wanted to restore our forests with Tsanya fearing the future generations would not have an eye on the precious tree species”.
“District forestry officials advised us to start managing regenerants, which were less than two centimeters at that moment but we had a strong hope of restoring our forest which we have managed” Said Chilingo
He said their efforts are also geared at improving the community’s biodiversity adding with the sprouting forest a diverse flora and Fauna have been put on record.
The tree has been a hot cake on the international market leading to Malawi Government’s efforts towards enforcement of illegal transit of the tree leading to the arrest of some notable Chinese nationals attempting to smuggle raw specimen of the much-hunted tree.