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Water for People dress Mudi Catchment Area with trees

By Tikondane Vega

Water for People, in collaboration with stakeholders, on Saturday planted trees around Mudi Catchment Area in Blantyre as one way of increasing water levels that can be supplied to the community.

The trees were planted under Blantyre-Mulanje Water Fund, a deliberate source of fund established by the organisation and other partners, to resource finance for water sustainability.

Speaking during the tree planting exercise, Chairperson for the fund steering committee, Dwight Kambuku, said they decided to plant trees in Mudi Catchment to protect water supply in the district.

“Trees are one of the most important aspects if we are to have clean and sustainable water. When planted in the right place, trees provide multiple benefits to people. It plays a critical role in capturing rainwater and reducing the risk of natural disasters such as floods.

“The catchment protection and restoration helps control siltation in Mudi Dam thereby reducing the cost of purifying water for a tenth of the city’s population,” said Kambuku.

Kambuku, planting his tree. Pic by Tikondane Vega-Mana

Kambuku, who is also Chief Executive Officer for National Water Resources Authority (NWRA), added that the restoration of Mudi River has potential to reduce water tariffs since Blantyre Water Board’s (BWB) production costs will be lower due to good quality of water.

Water for People Director of Influence and Scale, Kate Harawa, said all trees that have been planted are indigenous in nature that can inhabit the environment without any human intervention.

Harawa expressed concern that lack of trees affects quantity and quality of water saying the trees planted swill ensure that water is available all the time to the public.

“This is the reason stakeholders are establishing Special Water Fund to ensure that there are resources for water sustainability by helping us come up with different interventions targeting concerned stakeholders such as the surrounding community,” she said.

BWB Director of Technical Services, Mavuto Chiipanthenga, commended Water for People and other partners saying such gesture has made Mudi catchment regain its lost glory.

Chiipanthenga said trees make water available all the time since they significantly increase water infiltration rate into soil and storage.

“When water is available the costs of treatment is always lower; that is why today we are saying our water production cost has slowly reduced. We ask other stakeholders to come and plant more trees,” he said.

Delegates to the exercise emphasised the need to monitor and caring for the trees planted.

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