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Dowa Alumni Secures Mk90m Hostel From Disasters

Dowa Secondary School Alumni Association Saturday [16th January, 2021] reinforced a natural barrier by planting more tree seedlings around a MK90 million newly constructed twin girls hostel built by alumni, parents with additional support from the conglomerate Press Trust.

This is a second-year alumni have gone back to their school on an environment conscious mission. Last year, former students planted 500 seedlings around the school campus. Of the tree seedlings planted, 120 were allocated around the new girl’s hostels premises.

During a woodlot monitoring and evaluation process, it was noted that out of 120 seedlings planted around the hostel, 103 trees were counted as having survived representing 86 percent survival rate.

Community leader Inkosi Mponela plant his tree during the event on Saturday

The high survival rate of last year’s species are largely attributed to the physical watering that was initiated by alumni during the dry months of August through November.

Community leader in the area Inkosi Mponela who took part in the exercise lauded efforts of the alumni as phenomenal. Mponela was all praises for the girl’s hostels feat saying this will prevent unwanted early pregnancies. He added this is the major challenge among young girl students who would be operating from rented premises outside campus.

“When you train a girl, you have trained a nation. The presence of this hostel is a conducive environment for girls. This levels the playing field for both girls and boys at this school,” explained the chief.

Alumni Immediate Past President, Haldon Njikho who chaired the tree planting task force thanked members for their generosity when they overwhelmingly donated funds to ensure the tree planting exercise is fulfilled.

Alumni President Alfred Muunika washes hands after planting a tree

“We are doing this exercise as alumni of the school. This is in line with the government’s national forestry season that ran from December through April. We want to secure the new girl’s hostel from natural disasters.” Njikho who also lobbied for more species of fruits to be planted as part of a school orchard narrated.

“Our next plan is to build a matron's house, who should be helping the girls here. We are determined to see this project through. We will reach out to institutions of good will to ensure that goal is achieved,” Muunika told participants that witnessed the tree planting exercise.

Speaking after the event current Alumni President Alfred Muunika explained that members have a duty to give back to the institution that helped to mould their future.

He added that the students are only being responsible knowing that others also did the same to make the environment conducive.

Across of Alumni that graced the event captured on Saturday, 16th January, 2021

“Our next plan is to build a matron's house, who should be helping the girls here. We are determined to see this project through. We will reach out to institutions of good will to ensure that goal is achieved,” Muunika told participants that witnessed the tree planting exercise.

Other than the girl’s hostel other activities that have successfully been accomplished include buying of textbooks and replacement of worn out electricity poles. This exercise saw 11 new poles being erected replacing the old ones on the entire campus. The total cost of new poles and labour came to MK1.5 million.

In August 2016, alumni sponsored three girls that excelled to attend a week long science camp at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Close to MK250,000.00 was spent on registration fees, transport and upkeep for the girls. Upon returning they acknowledged that the science camp at MUST was an eye opener and a very intellectually rewarding experience. The girls were also exposed through knowledge exchange and experiences with participants from other secondary schools.

The woodlot and twin girls hostel in the background

Dowa Secondary School opened it's door in 1965. To date, the institution has produced different cadres of professionals of both gender working in diverse spheres of life.

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Dowa Secondary Alumni Documentary
10 February 2021

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About the Author
Charles Mkoka
Charles Mkoka is Secretary General of the Association of Environmental Journalists. He is also Lead Partner for Ecosystems Partners, a privately owned firm he set up in 2015. He is a regular contributor of AEJ News and one of the editorial crew behind content gathering and production.



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Comments (1)
  • This is very great. Proud to be part of this team. Lets conserve and manage the environment.