AHL Group inspires environmentalists during 2016 Climate Change Week

AHL Group inspires environmentalists during 2016 Climate Change Week

Tuesday November 08, 2016 AHL Group

AHL Group received lots of ovations from the Department of Environmental Affairs and other climate change stakeholders for its successful environmental conservation programs and for being the only participant from the key private sector companies during this year’s World Environmental Day commemoration and the National Climate Change Week held from 6th to 10th June, 2016 at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) and Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

This year’s World Environmental Day and Climate Change Week commemorations were officially opened on 6th June by His Excellency the State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika who stressed the need to conserve the environment as a crucial issue for the development of the country.

During the official opening, the State President toured sampled pavilions at BICC and AHL Group mounted its stand which showcased different environmental conservation programs implemented by its subsidiaries. Speaking to different climate change stakeholders at Crossroads Hotel,

General Manager for Tobacco Sales at AHL Group Mr. Moses Yakobe said the Group is making tremendous strides in mitigating and combating climate change effects.

“The objectives of our environmental programs are to reduce the amount of waste produced through the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycles); integrate the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into our entire decision making; create environmental awareness among staff and the surrounding communities; and to educate and encourage farmers, pupils and communities about environmental protection through tree planting events and trainings on their care,” said Mr. Yakobe.

Mr. Yakobe explained that one of AHL Group environmental programs that is helping the public to conserve forests is the selling of environmental friendly cook stoves through the subsidiary company of Agricultural Trading Company (ATC).

 He said, “AHL Group through ATC sells and promotes the use of environmental friendly cook stoves that use little firewood thereby reducing the pressure placed on local forests. The stoves also ensure fewer greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.”

The General Manager further explained that ATC is also playing a critical role in fighting climate change effects through irrigation equipment program where it is selling treadle pumps to farmers as one way of promoting irrigation so that farmers can mitigate climate change effects.

According to Mr. Yakobe, waste management is another environmental program being implemented by AHL Group. He said the company works with relevant authorities to ensure proper disposal of its waste. “Tobacco waste from the auction floors and TIL Limited, a subsidiary of AHL Group, are distributed to employees and other interested parties for manure. In addition, ATC provides relevant information to their customers on how they can safely use the chemicals purchased and the best disposal practices of empty chemical containers,” Mr. Yakobe explained.

Mr. Yakobe also told the environmental experts that another program is the promotion of crop diversification in which AHL Group, through its subsidiary AHCX, supports the country’s crop diversification agenda by providing a transparent market place where farmers can sell commodities such as beans, rice, cow peas, soya and groundnuts to buyers at competitive prices so that they can cope with the effects of climate change.

The General Manager for Tobacco Sales caught the attention of environmental experts during the Climate Change Week when he explained that AHL Group has an afforestation program that aims to help reduce the impacts of climate change.

“The company plants trees in various districts throughout Malawi. In order to achieve high survival rate of the trees planted, the company introduced an Adopt a Tree program in the schools and communities where the trees are planted,” Mr. Yakobe said.

He explained that in the Adopt a Tree program, students and community members are required to adopt a number of trees which they can take care of and as a motivation, schools and communities with high survival rate are given rewards.

“The total number of trees planted by AHL Group from 2013 to 2016 is 57,700 and on average, the survival rate from 2013 to 2015 is at 55 percent. By 2020, AHL Group plans to plant over 150,000 trees throughout the country,” Mr. Yakobe explained.