TNM partners with United Purpose for tree planting and forest management

...Plants 15,000 trees at Kaphuka in Dedza

Blantyre, January 30, 2019 —Malawi’s integrated mobile network and ICT service provider TNM Plc, has partnered with United Purpose (UP), a development NGO in an afforestation project to plant 15,000 trees in Dedza this year.

Rolling out the partnership through a tree planting exercise at Kaphuka in the district, TNM Acting Chief Executive Officer Eric Valentine said the company has changed its approach to tree planting by entering into a partnership with UP aiming to achieve sustainable management of trees beyond planting.

“Although millions of trees are planted every rainy season, only a fraction of them survive beyond 24 months. It is against this background that we at TNM have sought a paradigm shift in our interventions. This shift takes a holistic approach where both recovery of trees lost and integrated management of new trees and the environment take centre stage,” said Valentine.

He said that the partnership with UP will help both partners contribute in the sustainable management of trees and the environment. UP has been operating in Malawi for 30 years, working in partnership with local government and communities across 17 districts. In partnership with others it directly reached over 1 million rural people in Malawi last year. Since 2014 UP has planted over 5 million trees in Malawi.

“The partnership helps clarify roles by resting responsibility and implementation with a partner grounded in environmental and disaster management, United Purpose (UP). For our part as TNM we will mobilize financial and human resources to support UP’s role on the ground, while focussing on providing an integrated mobile network and ICT service with environmental considerations at heart,” he said.

Valentine said the partnership is a continuation of efforts by TNM to conserve the environment. Previous efforts include joining the national annual tree planting exercise and installation of solar power at base stations,” he said.

“This is a part of our contribution to government’s efforts for Malawi to attain the desired 100 percent tree survival rate. Attaining a higher rate of tree survival would go a long way to bridge the yawning gap created by many years of deforestation and general environmental degradation,” he said. UP will also promote environmental awareness and cleaner cookstoves use in these communities (chitetezo mbaula).

In her remarks, UP Country Director Heather Campbell expressed delight at the partnership: “We are very excited to partner with TNM to tackle one of the biggest challenges in Malawi: deforestation. This partnership is an opportunity for us to help us to protect the environment in Dedza for future generations, as well as create opportunities for these communities in TA Kaphuka. Central to UP’s approach is creative partnerships, that bring together the diverse collaborators needed to come up with bold, creative ways to solve the pressing problems of our time, and also achieve the scale of impact we need. This is why working with an innovator like TNM is so inspiring.”