By Barbara Chanda
With most of the forest cover depleted in Nyimba District, Chief Ndake of the Nsenga people urged residents to start planting trees.
Chief Ndake made the call when he recently participated in the launch of of a programme that target to plant 25,000 seedlings of different tree species in the district.
The Chief noted that it is worrisome that that the tree species that used to be in abundance such as Mukwa and Mukula are slowly reducing significantly in number and in addition well known streams and rivers have either dried up or have become seasonal.
He encouraged that people should first start planting trees in homes and neighbourhood and spread awareness about the importance of planting a tree.
Chief Ndake explained that forests and trees are also important as they provide various foods, medicines and fruits.
He urged people to find time from their schedule to plant trees around homes, schools, farms and communal areas in order to protect the environment.
Nyimba District Forestry Department has embarked on a tree planting programme to restore places that have been depleted.
Mr Simuyota disclosed that the tree planting activities will be done with the help of cooperating partners such as Nyimba Districts Farmers Association, BioCarbon Partners, World Vision, Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), Eastern Water and Sewerage Company as well as government departments and the traditional leadership.
He thanked the traditional leadership that is helping in identifying and allocating land that needs urgent attention for tree planting.
Mr Simuyota named the different seedlings being planted as tamarind, cashew nuts, sizygium cordetum, albizia lebbeck, khaya nyassica and afzelia quantazensis.
Mr Simuyota noted that the exercise is very important as it is one of the effective ways to fight climate change which has also affected Zambia.
He observed that to stop global warming, people need to halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and ensure all types of forests are managed sustainably.
Nyimba District Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Manager Jimmy Muzia said so far the company has planted 500 trees covering 10 hectares around the borehole well field at Mfumbizi that supplies water to the entire district.
Mr Muzia noted that it is important that trees are planted around water sources in order to recharge the aquifers.
And Acting Nyimba District Commissioner Geofrey Mumba warned the people in the district against indiscriminate cutting of trees.
Mr Mumba said the law will be tough on those found wanting, especially those that are into charcoal production.
He further said deforestation and forest degradation had taken a huge toll on forests in the district and the impact is overwhelming.
PICTURES: Chief Ndake (in round hat) of Nyimba District takes a lead in tree planting exercise for the 2022/2023 planting season as Eastern Province Forestry Department Extension Officer Kingsley Muyunda aids the traditional ruler in the action.