Chief Mukwikile of the Bemba people of Shiwangándu district in Muchinga Province has surrendered a total of 5,500 hectares of land to government to be used for the establishment of forest plantations.
Chief Mukwikile disclosed this at his palace yesterday when Muchinga Province Minister Charles Banda paid a courtesy call on him at his palace.
Chief Mukwikile said the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) have been given three portions of land in his chiefdom to establish forest plantations.
He said the first portion is 5,000 hectares while the other two are 200 and 300 hectares respectively and are all located along the Great North Road between Mpika and Shiwangándu districts.
The Traditional Ruler says he fully supports the establishment of forest plantations in the country, a programme initiated by government under the leadership of President Michael Sata.
Chief Mukwikile says the establishment of forest plantations in his chiefdom will create employment especially for the youths and women.
He also thanked the government for electrifying his palace through the Rural Electrification Project.
And Muchinga Minister Charles Banda thanked Chief Mukwikile for releasing land to the government for the establishment of forest plantations.
Mr. Banda also reiterated government’s commitment to work with traditional leaders in fostering development.
Mr. Banda, who was recently transferred to Muchinga Province from Eastern, is on a familiarization tour to check on developmental projects in the area.
He is also taking time to visit chiefs to explain government’s programmes and plans for development.