By Malawi Exclusive
The Center for Community Organization and Development (CCODE) has partnered with Lilongwe City Council in rebuilding of ecosystem along Lilongwe River Banks a project which will extend to other rivers as well.
This was disclosed in an exclusive interview with following the rolling out of the project at the function which took place over the weekend at Kaliyeka where CCODE and LCC planted trees.
CCODE Executive Director Zilire Luka in an interview said the partnership between Lilongwe City Council and his organisation will help to restore environment in the city.
Luka said the goal of the project is to pilot nature-based solutions (NBS) and urban biodiversity actions in the context of informal settlements upgrading and climate change resilience building in the City of Lilongwe.
“The actions will be implemented in three informal settlements of Kawale 1, Kawale 2, and Kaliyeka, which are some of the poorly drained flood-prone areas located along Lingadzi and Mchesi River Through awareness actions, capacity building of local-level structures and communities, and improving waste management, this project will demonstrate pilot solutions that will significantly reduce flooding, pollution of water sources and biodiversity and consequently, mitigate property loss, general human suffering and reduce degradation of the environment along the river banks of Mchesi and Lingadzi Rivers.” He said.
He said his organisation is much aware that Chipasula, Kaliyeka, Nchesi and Kawale have been experiencing flooding problems because of poor ecological ecosystem.
He said his organisation will ensure that they plant 5,000 trees by the end of this year raining season.
Luka said its sad that since 2017 the communities of the three areas have been under floods, hence his organization saw it wise to embark on the process for vegetative cover.
“At that particular time we decided to sit down with the communities, and support them in various processes, so vegetative restoration cover is one of the processes that we identified as a solution to flooding in these areas.” Said Luka.
CCODE is expected to plant at least 5,000 trees along the Mchesi and Lilongwe rivers covering a distance of about 9.7km of which 2,000 will be fruit trees planted by the communities themselves in which the project is being implemented.
Vumani Chidzanja chair of Environmental and Health committee agrees with Luka saying reforestation is only way of dealing with floods.
He commended CCODE for the effort to ensure the environment is restored.
“As a council, we are so happy with the development because this is in line with Lilongwe City Council ecosystem restoration project,” He said.
Vumani said the project will specifically be aligned to the council’s strategic plan (2021-2025), the Lilongwe Resilience Framework Action Plan and the Lilongwe Ecological Corridor Initiative.
He said specifically, the action aligns with the Councils strategic objective number 3.2 which is about expanding green areas by 300 hectares and protect the city’s environment for future generations.
The project is made possible with funding from UN Habitat.
The project has the potential to be scaled up and it is built around the work that CCODE has already been doing in these settlements in the last four years.
Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE), will implement this action in liaison with the Lilongwe City Council, the affected communities and their established leadership structures, the private sector, schools, community-based youth organisations, among others.
The action will be implemented in 4 months and is consistent with the Lilongwe city council’s vision and mission.
To that effect, the proposed action will directly address key priority areas of the Lilongwe City Council’s Strategic Plan under goal number three which addresses the efficient and cost-effective provision of services.
It also addresses the strategic objective 3.3 on collecting and proper disposal of 70% of all solid waste generated as waste management has been pointed out as one of the main challenges facing the city of Lilongwe.
It is argued that the environment, economy and public health in Malawi are at increasing risk from the dangers of poorly managed waste. Authorities currently lacks the infrastructure, resources, and capacity to manage the rising quantities of waste being generated. Inadequate waste management is leading to the accumulation of waste, causing serious environmental and social consequences, including a heightened flood risk and threats to public health from water-borne and vector-borne diseases (Waste-Aid, 2020).
Accordibg to the CCODE at the end of the pilot, a dissemination workshop will be undertaken to share the results with a multiplicity of stakeholders and communities in Lilongwe and other Cities.