Malawi, Central Africa …The sound of chain saws and cross cuts can be heard in far too many parts of Malawi. Like the African elephant that is heading toward extinction if something is not done to stop the killing for ivory that threatens his or her existence, the forests of Malawi are being cut at an alarming rate in order to harvest the wood products it can produce. In both cases the loss of these elements of Africa’s history will have dire consequences on its future. The loss of the elephant will be catastrophic because of its place in the creation of all things, and the need to maintain the balance of nature, as well as the fact that it brings in millions upon millions of tourism dollars each year to a cash strapped continent, and the forests because of their life connection to the land and its people.
The elephant is disappearing because of poaching for ivory. The loss of the forests has a number of reasons behind it. One is the need for wood. Timber is being exported from Malawi at an alarming rate. Domestic firewood is used for cooking (only 2% of the population has access to electricity), brick burning (kilns to make bricks), destruction of trees to make room for cultivation, bush burning to clear land for cultivation, for building construction within the country, and for tobacco drying (1 acre of tobacco requires up to 3 acres of woodland to cure the tobacco).
The Malawi Project is working closely with a number of Malawi organizations in order to replant lost forests with new seedlings for the future. To accomplish this, the Forestry Department of Malawi is supplying seedlings. Malawi organizations working hand in hand with the Malawi Project are organizing village people to plant and care for the seedlings. The Malawi Project is supplying thousands of pair of shoes as the incentive and reward for planting the seedlings. It’s a win-win situation for all. The nation reaches closer to its goal of maintaining its trees. The Forestry Department accomplishes its mission. The Malawi groups accomplish a valuable task for their people, the villages have trees for future development, and the Malawi Project gives shoes to those who work to help themselves. It builds self-esteem, self-worth, and brings a degree of success to a part of the world that needs more successes.
We need your help to plant more trees. Shoes are available for shipment. The only thing that is needed is the lack of funds to make the shipments possible. Your contributions will help the people of Malawi reforest their land.
As for saving the elephant that will need to be another chapter, at a different time, by a different organization.