Forestry Dept in Gwembe saddened with rampant late burning of bushes
Gwembe, April 12, ZANIS–The Forestry department in Gwembe District
has expressed concern at rampant late burning of the bush which is
leading to poor forest formation.
Speaking during the DDCC stakeholders meeting yesterday, Forestry
Officer, Winnis Sichone said there has been no controlled burning of
the bush and accused livestock farmers of igniting forest fires.
Mr. Sichone observed that late and uncontrolled burning of the bush
has drastically reduced the forest quality and destroyed plant
He said late burning is destroying seeds that fall to the ground for
germination and is also destroying grass meant for livestock grazing.
Mr. Sichone has expressed worry that there shall be no forests if
shrubs are all burnt and added that the effects of climate change
would not be reversed.
He said his office lacks manpower to ensure bush burning is done
within stipulated time before the grass gets completely dry.
And seedlings worth more than K13 million, meant for the tree planting
exercise this year is in a regretful state at the Gwembe Forestry office.
A check by ZANIS this morning found over 40 thousand unattended to
seedlings in the Forestry office yard.
A named officer at the office told ZANIS that the seedlings were
planted off season and the chances of them surviving in the prolonged
dry spell were slim.
Lack of transport to designated areas during tree planting
exercise also contributed to the failure to have most seedlings
planted on time.