Zambia to embark on solid bamboo pilot project

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Minister of lands Jean Kapata
Minister of Lands Jean Kapata

Government will soon embark on a pilot project of planting solid bamboo to help curb deforestation in Kazungula district.

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Jean Kapata disclosed this when she visited Nyawa Chiefdom in Kazungula district in Southern Province to secure land for the project.

Ms Kapata said her ministry earmarked Nyawa for the pilot project because of the high levels of deforestation in the area and the passion shown by the Chief in protecting the environment.

She added that once land is secured in Nyawa, the project will commence before the end of the 2017-2018 rainy season.

Ms Kapata said the project will be rolled out to all the other nine provinces in the country.

The Minister further explained that the solid bamboo plant which takes 4 years to mature can be used for several purposes which include charcoal, timber and stock feed.

She added that the plant can thereafter be harvested for 15 years.

“We are aware that some people earn their livelihoods through charcoal burning and therefore want to provide an alternative. It is only then that we can ban and stiffen laws against the cutting of trees for charcoal,” Ms Kapata stated.

Earlier, the minister led some officers from the Forestry Department and other government officials in planting trees as part of the implementation of the 2017/18 tree planting season under the theme ‘Plant Trees To Grow the Economy Sustainably.’

And Chief Nyawa of the Tonga people in Kazungula has pledged 200 hectares of land in each of the 500 villages of his chiefdom for the bamboo project.

The traditional leader said he is troubled with the levels of deforestation in his chiefdom hence has urged his subjects to embrace the development as it will bring several benefits.

“Let’s ensure we participate in this project, as we heard, we’ll be able to sell the seedlings to other districts thereby earning some income,” he advised.

Meanwhile, Southern Province Permanent Secretary, Mwangala Liomba has expressed happiness with the efforts by men in uniform to implement the Timber ban.

He was speaking earlier when Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Jean Kapata called on him at his office in Choma.

He disclosed that two trucks carrying Mukula logs were recently impounded and have since been handed over to the relevant Provincial Joint Operations Committee in Kazungula district.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I see ‘China’ written all over that recommendation. Of course they use a lot of it there – including eating it as shoots. So why in high heavens would you want to replace forests with bamboo ?? Nothing to do with charcoal – everything to do with supplying the insatiable Chinese market. Believe me folks.

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  2. WHY A PILOT PROJECT BA MINISTER. BAMBOO IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST AND USEFULLY ECONOMIC PLANTS OF THE WORLD. MAINLY, IT IS USED FOR FURNITURE AND IN THE HOUSE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. BAMBOO CAN BE TREATED AND COMPRESSED TO MAKE A BIG PLANK/WOOD FROM WHERE PIECES OF FURNITURE CAN BE DESIGNED AND MADE. A BAMBOO KITCHEN WORK TOP IS ALMOST AS EXPENSIVE AS NATURAL STONE KITCHEN WORKTOP. ONE DAY I WALKED INTO DEBENHAMS TO GO AND BUY A CHOPPING BOARD. A BAMBOO CHOPPING BOARD WAS THE MOST ATTRACTIVE AND MOST EXPENSIVE AS COMPARED TO ORDINARY WOOD AND SYNTHETICS OR PLASTIC CHOPPING BOARDS. EQUALLY, KITCHEN UTENSILS SUCH AS STIRERS AND OTHER COOKING STICKS OVER DID MOST OF OTHER MATERIALS IF NOT ALL. MAINLY, BAMBOO FURNITURE AND OTHER ITEMS ARE MANUFACTURED IN ASIAN COUNTRIES SUCH AS CHINA, MALAYSIA,etc

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  3. So you are planting Chine bamboo food for Pandas in Africa whilst you sell native trees to Chines.
    No wonder the Chines make fun of you in their playhouses in China as monkeys!!

    Please fast foward 2021!!

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    • BAMBOO PLANTATIONS CAN LARGELY CONTRIBUTE TO SOLVING WASTEFUL CUTTING AWAY OF TREES WHICH GO TO CHINA FOR SERIOS MONEY WOOD AND FURNITURE INDUSTRIES AND AS A RIPPLE EFFECT POSITIVELY BARE A HUGE IMPACT ON ZAMBIA’S ECONOMY. BAMBOO IS SIMPLY AN ON-WANTED-LIST, COMMODITY.

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  4. So you ALLOW PEOPLE TO CHOP DOWN THE NATURAL FOREST AND WISH TO REPLACE IT FOREIGN PLANTS?? WHY NOT REPLANT THE REAL TREES THAT WERE THERE and DEVELOP THOSE BAMBOOS FORESTS AS A SEPARATE INVESTMENT?? WE ARE BUSY ALTERING THE ECOSYSTEM AS WE SATISFY OURSELVES WITH THIS “REAFFORESTATION” WHICH CREATES AN IMBALANCE IN OUR ECO-SYSTEM!! Always looking for easy quick solutions! IN FACT WHY NOT INTRODUCE THOSE BAMBOOS and THINK OF “REAL VALUE ADDITION INDUSTRIES” like what Peter above is talking about!!

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  5. Yes well done for this inicetive but as someone said above , we need to plant those bamboo and ban cutting of native trees while replenishing them.

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  6. “It is only then that we can ban and stiffen laws against the cutting of trees for charcoal,” Ms Kapata stated.

    No Ms. Kapata, planting bamboos is a good idea, but not for charcoal that will increase air pollution and cause sickness and breathing difficulties for those in the towns. For this we need a Government that can give us access to reliable CLEAN electricity! With no LOAD SHEDDING. Not the incompetent political clowns that caused this problem in the first place, and cannot manage to get it right!

    Bamboo for other uses such as wood and furniture industries is an excellent idea.

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  7. In principle a good idea but bamboo is an invasive species that might take over the farm, do our ag experts know what impact they will have on water tables. If it can bring industry without affecting the eco system lets trial.

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  8. Great move indeed, we at Friends of Mother Earth hope that the action can spread across the country especially in areas highly deforested. Bamboo being so quick to grow as well as economically valuable and spread might might present answers to a number of alarming questions surrounding our Environmental challenges.

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