Determined to Develop’s Environmental Program focuses on reforestation, as the high rate of cutting down trees is a pressing environmental issue in Sangilo village. Villagers cut down trees in the local area to use as firewood, building structures to house their livestock, and constructing fishing boats.
Deforestation is a major environmental issue globally, with both economic and social consequences. High rates of deforestation can lead to high rates of soil erosion, making the land increasingly difficult to farm and potentially reducing crop yields.
Soil erosion in the Sangilo area is a very real problem, with exposed bedrock visible in many areas. This is a trend which must be halted as over 90% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.
The Sangilo Reforestation Project has been running since 2011, when approximately 5,000 trees were planted. We have established a tree nursery and we run the project in collaboration with the Malawi Forestry Commission who provide seeds and offer expert advice. Due to seasonal changes throughout the year the project runs on an annual cycle, with seeds planted during the dry months and handed over to members of the community, to be transferred into the ground, at the beginning of the rainy season between December and February. The planting of trees is complemented by wider education projects, which aim to spread awareness about the impact of deforestation, particularly at a local level.
Previous cycles of the project have distributed seedlings to the local primary school and heath centre.