East and South Africa
The Pilot Study on Community Vitalization and Afforestation in Middle Shire, Republic of Malawi

The target area located in the suburbs of Blantyre, the largest city in Malawi has been suffering from rapidly increasing population density. This demographic pressure has led to explosive increase of firewood production / supply and expansion of reclaimed farmland, resulting in fast decline in forest and grassland areas. This trend has fostered soil erosion that is causing heavy sedimentation in the power generating dams that are only available power sources for this country. This has also lowered the plant nutrition level in the soils of farmland and subsequent deterioration of farm productivity. In this Project, a compound model of restoring forests, introduction of agro-forestry and livelihood improvement was created in a participatory approach for natural resources management / community vitalization, and it was verified through its implementation in the target area. In the final year of its implementation, substantial achievement was observed in participatory tree nursery production and reforestation, rearing of improved Boar goat, small-scale irrigation by treadle pumps, improved stove etc., and these participatory activities were highly evaluated. Three ministries participated in the creation of the implementation system through which a close coordination system was successfully sustained. The close coordination brought a remarkable enhancement of willingness of related officers involvement in the project and of capacity for implementing projects.