LILONGWE, Malawi 28th February, 2022 (AEJ) - University of Malawi 1972 freshmen cohort comprised of the last Cambridge O-level and the first Malawi Certificate of Education students decided to go green before green goes by planting rare species of indigenous trees at Lilongwe Botanical Gardens, marking the first activity in a serries of events to mark 50 years anniversary. They represents the first time the University of Malawi selected first year students into one cohort from two different examination systems.
The tree planting is part of the National Forestry Season which began on 15th December, 2021. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change unveiled plans to plant 40 Million trees during the 2021/2022 season.
The 1972 UNIMA Freshmen Cohort Chairperson Professor Sosten Chiotha explained that they felt the species of trees they planted comprising rare endemic and endangered hardwoods and fruit trees will be adequately protected and nurtured within the confine boundary of the gardens as a biodiversity hotspot. The theme of this years National Forestry Season is healthy trees, forests economy and people.
In his speech Minister responsible, Eisenhower Mkaka underscored the need on the importance of botanic gardens of Malawi in Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
“The Lilongwe National Botanic Garden is a source of clean air for residents of the city and a carbon sink. This garden is patronized every day, by people from all walks of life, as a social amenity, to pray, to study, or just to have good time. This garden is also important by providing synergy to current initiatives of greening Lilongwe city,” Mkaka lauded the remaining green silos in urban locations adding, “I am confident that, the unique plant species, we will plant here at the Lilongwe National Botanic Garden, will be adequately cared for and protected.”
The 1972 Freshmen cohort invited current Vice Chancellors of Universities that were constituents colleges of UNIMA then. Prof Emmanuel Kaunda, Dr Dan Namarika and Associate Professor Nancy Chitela were in attendance in that respect as Lilongwe University of Agriculture, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences.
Present were a category of lecturers of the 1972 group who included Prof Brown Chimpamba, Hon Lewis Chimango, Prof Isaac Lamba and Prof Dustin Malithano.
Some prominent freshmen present during the event include Francis Moto, Patrick Kachimera, Felix Mlusu, Mzondwase Mgomezulu, Andrew Daudi and Henderson Chimoyo among many others.
The Main event marking the 50 years anniversary will be held in July, 2022. In between, the 1972 group, comprising local and members in diaspora will host public lectures, pannel discussions and also fundraise towards medicines for Malawi hospitals.
University of Malawi was founded in 1964 and teaching started in 1965.