Deforestation threatens Siavonga district

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Deforestation threatens Siavonga district

Siavonga, July 6, ZANIS ——— Chief Simaamba says Siavonga district will soon become a desert if government fails to control the high levels of tree cutting in the area.

He said charcoal burning in Siavonga was a serious issue which needed government to move in quickly and find the lasting solution.

"People are cutting trees indescriminately and I don’t know what government is doing to combat this problem especially in my chiefdom. It’s sad that people are busy cutting trees without realising their importance to the nation and forgetting that there is a law," he said.

Chief Simaamba of the Tonga speaking people in Siavonga district said this in an interview with ZANIS yesterday.

The traditional leader wondered why government was not active in dealing with charcoal burning reports when it was aware of the situation on the ground and it’s consequences on deforestation.

"Government has failed to arrest charcoal burners who cut trees. Imagine the law is there and the Forestry Act is also there but government is not using it. So for me am worried that if government fails to control the high levels of tree cutting then Siavonga very soon will be a desert and we will have problems as far as rain is concerned," he noted.

Chief Simaamba has also appealed to government to send relief food to his chiefdom to avert high level of hunger situation in the area.

He observed that most of the children were suffering from malnutrition due to the hunger situation in the area.

The traditional leader also called on government to find lasting solution to eradicate the water blues in Dokota, Kariba stores, Nabutezi and Manchavwa villages.

He also advised government to use other means of providing water to the named villages as opposed to sinking bole holes in the named areas because the bole holes dries up so fast in those villages.

”These villages deserve piped water lines straight from Lake Kariba not bole holes," he said.

Meanwhile Siavonga District Commisioner Brave Mweetwa said government was doing everything possible to educate the communities on the importance of preserving the trees.

Mr Mweetwa said government will make sure that those people cutting trees comply with the law failure to that, force will be applied to deal with those who would be found wanting.

The District Commissioner said government was also trying to involve the traditional leaders to help fight against charcoal burning in the area.

"It’s sad that 70 percent of charcoal burners in the district are not indigenous Siavonga residents but come from Kafue and Chirundu districts," he said.