Monday, July 22, 2013

Deforestation in Monze worries forestry dept
By Pride Bwalya in Monze
Wed 10 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE forestry department in Monze has expressed worry over the alarming rate of deforestation in some parts of the district. In an interview in Monze on Monday, forestry department extension assistant Rays Mwansa said that deforestation was rampant inchiefs Choongo and Hamusonde's areas.

He also complained that government was losing a lot of revenue which was supposed to be paid to the department for licences for those trading in charcoal and other forest products.

Mwansa also said that the chiefs' councils of both Choongo and Hamusonde areas were issuing a licence called the Royal Licence contrary to the laws of Zambia and were collecting levy.

He called for reinforcement of the forestry Act in order to curb deforestation and preserve forests for other important and economic benefits.

He said that it was unfortunate that charcoal traders were made to pay for other licences instead of them obtaining the forestry licence which mandates them to trade within fourteen days.

Mwansa also called onthe Zambia Wildlife Authority to stop allowing charcoal traders going through the Lochinvar National Park without a licence from forestry department.

He said that the departmenthad planned to carry out sensitisation meetings for traditional leaders and other members of the community on the procedures and the forestry act in order to help them understand the role of forestry department in the protection of natural resources.

He said that the department was unable to conduct sensitisation meetings and aforestation and reforestation regularly because it was faced with transport challenges.

Meanwhile, Billiant Halwiindi, a charcoal trader from chief Hamusonde's area said the chief's council was levying them KR100 for the royal licence per month.

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