Government has expressed concern over high deforestation levels that have negatively affected the country’s environmental and economic development.
Lusaka District Commissioner Ashel Kampengele said forests play an important role in contributing to national development through the provision of basic needs which include food, timber, firewood, honey and medicine.
Mr. Kampengele said this in a speech read on his behalf by District Administrative Officer Patrick Phiri at the launch of the Lusaka district tree planting exercise at Mandevu Basic School.
The tree planting exercise was under the theme “Tree for Poverty Alleviation and Economic Development”.
He noted that Zambia was still faced with numerous challenges of growing ecological imbalances resulting from deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
He said the forest ecosystem also provides employment to many Zambians in sawmilling and carpentry.
And Mpulungu Ward Councillor in Mandevu Constituency, Chris Shakafuswa commended government for its tree planting initiative saying it will reduce the adverse effects of climate change which the country is experiencing.
Mr. Shakafuswa added that the exercise will cushion some long term effects such as the depletion of the ozone layer and the ever-changing rainfall pattern in the country.
And Mandevu Basic School Head Teacher Kangwa Mulela said the trees that have been planted at the school will benefit the children through the provision of a shade, environmental protection and reduce the emission of harmful gases.
The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection today donated 160 tree seedlings to Mandevu Basic School.
Out of these 160 tree seedlings, 10 are fruit trees and 150 are ornamental plants and they are part of the ongoing government tree planting initiative countrywide which was launched last month.