Elijah Banda, Karonga Diocese
Protecting natural resources pays off in more ways than one “Now people cannot set the forest on fire or cut down the trees because we all benefit from assets in the forest.”
In Northern Malawi in the agricultural district of Chitipa in traditional authority Misuku is John 2 Village which has a pretty patch of land covered with indigenous forests and exotic trees courtesy of climate change project. In this beautiful grassland bees are buzzing an intervention that enables farmers take care of trees to support this kind of farming while at the same time generating money for their households.
Symon Simkonda is a beekeeper and irrigation farmer under climate change project implemented by the Development Desk-Karonga Diocese in Misuku impact area. As a farmer Simkonda is enthusiastic about forest management and bee production. “Initially I was supported by one bee hive by the project but now the number of hives are growing and providing income for me and my households while facilitating conservation of forestry resources in the area.” he says. “More and more people are taking part in tree planting around the forest where bee keeping is taking place and are abiding by the by laws set aside to protect the forest.”
When the climate change project was introduced in the area in 2015, before any bees lived in the forest reserve, Simkonda began working with the project on ways to preserve the area’s natural resources while generating income.
“I built one beehive and put wax in it to attract the bees. The bees came. Now people cannot set the forest on fire or cut down the trees because we all benefit from assets in the forest,” says Simkonda.
A litre of honey is sold at MK 3,000 per each harvest and honey is harvested three times a years producing approximately 20 liters of honey. At harvest, which happens three times a year, each hive produces 15 liters of honey. Simkonda family would have an addition income of MK 60,000 from the enterprise at each harvest.
The climate change project’s integrated approach has given Simkonda a new career, more abundant crops and a good return on investment.