The start of the CONSERVE project created a platform that raised awareness on the need and importance of environment and natural resources management in schools. The case in point is the active participation of youths who are now spearheading environmental and natural resources conservation activities.
A good example is Njenga Primary School whose learners are taking leading roles in conserving the environment and natural resources after being enlightened through the CONSERVE project. Njenga Primary School is in Group Village Head [GVH] Tembwe in Traditional Authority [TA] Kalonga in Salima district on the fringes of Kuti Wildlife Reserve. It has 989 learners from standard one to standard eight.
The school learners at Njenga Primary School appreciated the effects of environmental degradation because roofs of their school blocks were blown off by strong winds due to deforestation. The trees that provided windbreaks for the school campus were carelessly cut down for charcoal production and firewood.
It is against this background that teachers and learners became interested in CONSERVE project activities particularly in environmental conservation and tree planting. As a result of the commitment and interest of teachers and school learners, AG Care in collaboration with Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi [WESM] facilitated environment and natural resources conservation training sessions.
The learners and teachers, after the training, initiated reestablishment of the Environment and Wildlife Club at Njenga Primary School that is leading the conservation works at the school and surrounding communities. “The club is helping the school in leading towards conserving the environment at school and in their respective surrounding communities. The school has established a tree nursery and raised tree seedlings that are well managed,’’ said Ms Ndaona Manganyire, the club matron.
Njenga Environment and Wildlife club with support from their matron have raised and managed 1,567 tree seedlings that are ready for out planting by school learners. The school learners are helping their surrounding communities in creating awareness on the need to conserve the environment and natural resources through natural forest regeneration efforts and tree planting initiatives. The school club is also active in sharing CONSERVE initiatives with other surrounding schools and communities. “I make sure that other learners take active part in taking care of the environment and I encourage my fellow learners and my community to conserve the environment by planting trees” said Tryness Wasi, the club’s chairperson. “The trees will give us fresh air, shelter and fruits. We would like to promote the practice of planting trees because we know the benefits of having the trees at our schools and homes,” added Lazalo Yonasi who is the club’s committee member.