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Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima has underscored the need for Malawians to plant and take care of the already planted trees in an effort to combat effects of climate change and deforestation.

He made the remarks on Thursday when he led Malawi Weather Chasers, a WhatsApp grouping in planting 6,000 trees in Chigumula forest.

The Vice President observed that natural disasters such as stormy rains, hailstorms and strong winds which damage crops, household property, infrastructure, causing human injuries and loss of lives were perpetuated by massive deforestation.

Chilima explained that time had come for people to cultivate a culture of conserving natural resources by practicing afforestation and re-afforestation exercises.

"Let's cultivate a culture of planting trees irrespective of places we come from and time. Besides that, we also need to safeguard against any wanton cutting down of trees for the betterment of the future generation," he said.

Chairperson for Malawi Weather Chasers, Dr Sosten Chiotha emphasized on the need for people to take ownership of the planted trees to improve on their survival rate.

"We were compelled to plant trees today realizing the diverse effects of climate change the country is subjected to. The Vice President has planted M'mbawa as well as a fruit tree Katope, these trees will help in protecting the environment and other ecosystems.

"All the, 6000 trees that will be planted today are all indigenous," he explained.

The Malawi Weather Chasers WhatsApp group aims at networking and exchanging weather related information from different people across the country and it is a grouping of all professions.

President Peter Mutharika launched the 20l7/20l8 Nation Forestry Seasons in Mwanza which was held under the theme: restore forests, protect environment.

About 60 million trees are expected to be planted during this year's tree planting season.