As a good corporate citizen and as part of corporate social responsibility, AHL Group through its Floors and Subsidiaries has this year planted 30 thousand trees in selected communities across the country. Government launched this year’s tree planting exercise on 18th January, 2016 at Masasa School in Ntcheu with the theme: ‘Arrest deforestation, plant trees and conserve forests.’ AHL Group conducted the tree planting exercise from 11th to 19th February, 2016.
AHL Group planted the 30 thousand trees through Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Chinkhoma and Limbe Floors as well as through the following subsidiaries: AHL Commodities Exchange, Malawi Leaf Company Limited, AHL Chemicals and Steel Limited, ATC and TIL.
AHL Group understands that climate change is negatively affecting the agriculture sector in this country and it fully supports Government plans to arrest deforestation by planting more trees. In 2015, AHL Group planted 9,200 tree seedlings in the country but this year AHL Group decided to increase the number of trees from 9,200 to 30,000.
The venues where trees were planted this year are Kayuni Primary School in Mzimba, Thandaza Village Clinic in Lilongwe, Kasafanya Primary School in Kasungu, Dzaone Primary School in Zomba, Chigwirizano Primary School in Ntchisi, Katewe Primary School in Dedza, St Mary’s Boys and Girls Primary School in Karonga and Chikhamwazi Primary School in Ntcheu. At each venue, about 3500 trees were planted.
When AHL Group plants trees every year, it does not neglect them but it conducts follow up monitoring visits to ensure that the trees are taken care of by the communities and schools.
Every year the trees are planted in conjunction with the schools and communities concerned for local ownership to ensure a higher tree survival rate. The types of trees that were planted this year are: fruit trees such as mangoes and guava, cassia and m’bawa among others.
During this year’s tree planting exercise, AHL Group has revealed that it plans to plant about 400 thousand trees by the year 2020 in addition to over 60 000 trees already planted since 2009.
The company revealed the plan during a tree planting exercise held on 19th February, 2016 in the area of traditional Authority (TA) Mtema in Lilongwe where 3330 trees were planted at Thandaza Village Clinic.
AHL Group’s Tobacco Sales General Manager Mr. Moses Yakobe made the revelation when he was addressing the gathering after planting the trees. He explained that the company has put in place plans to be increasing by 50 percent the number of trees planted each and every year.
“This year we have planted 30, 000 trees and next year we will plant 45,000 trees and so on. In this way, we will plant over 151,000 trees in 2020,” said Mr. Yakobe.
The General Manager further encouraged the tobacco farmers to continue planting trees considering the use of trees in tobacco.
“Much as we are aware that the tobacco industry uses a lot of trees for curing tobacco, it is the responsibility of everyone including organizations to support the government’s efforts in mitigating effects of climate change. I am therefore encouraging all of you to plant more trees even in your homes, catchment areas, fields and hills,” he said.
On Wednesday 17th February, 2016 Mzuzu Floors planted trees at Kazuni Primary School in the border area between Rumphi and Mzimba. The guest of honor at the event was Inkosana Kumwenda of Kazuni who thanked AHL Group for choosing to plant trees in his area. He further promised to urge his people to take good care of the trees.
Limbe Floors planted trees at Nanjiri Primary School in Zomba. Speaking after planting the trees, Limbe Floors Assistant Manager Mr. Symon Chirwa emphasized the need of planting trees in order to fight climate change.
“All of us have this year witnessed dry spells and late rainfalls and floods hitting hard most parts of the country. It is therefore of paramount importance to emphasize the need to plant more trees if at all we are going to combat climate change,” said Chirwa.
In a similar occasion, Chinkhoma Floors planted trees at Kasafanya Primary School in the area of Sub-Traditional Authority Mphomwa in Kasungu. TIL Limited planted trees at Katewe Primary School in Dedza;. Malawi Leaf Company Limited did the same at Chigwirizano Primary School in Ntchisi; ATC planted in the north at St. Mary’s Boys and Girls Primary School in Karonga; while ACSL went to Ntcheu and planted trees at Chikhamwazi Primary School.
In order to ensure the highest survival rate of the trees planted in primary schools, AHL Group introduced ‘Adopt a Tree’ initiative in which each tree is assigned to a pupil(s) to take care of it while at the same time training the children on how to care for the environment so that as they grow up, they become responsible citizens and be able to sustainably conserve forests and natural resources.