The Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) has announced plans of progressively expanding their forest plantations to all parts of the country, in order to help mitigate the diverse effects of climate change.
ZAFFICO Managing Director Frighton Sichone revealed that it is the corporation’s desire to expand to other parts of the country, in order to help mitigate the growing effects of climate change and also help create job opportunities for the locals.
The ZAFFICO MD narrated that the company’s presence in Luapula, Copperbelt, and Muchinga Provinces, sitting on a total land capacity of 50,000 hectares has immensely contributed to economic growth through wealth creation, hence the need to supplement government’s efforts further, by expanding to other areas.
ZANIS reports that Mr Sichone also revealed that the Nakonde plantation has so far planted trees on a 300 hectares piece of land, and has created both direct and indirect jobs to the local community.
The ZAFFICO plantation which is the first of its kind, sits on a piece of land, donated by Chieftaness Waitwika of the Namwanga people in Nakonde District.
And speaking when he officially launched the ZAFFICO plantation in Nakonde District in Muchinga Province, President Edgar Lungu commended ZAFFICO for heeding to government’s call of maintaining forest reserves through the plantation of trees.
President Lungu encouraged the corporation to continue with their good cause of scaling up forest plantations in the country.
He has assured that government will endeavor to create a conducive and favourable environment for all investors wanting to invest in the forestry department.
The President was however saddened that some people have continued to cut down trees uncontrollably and the expense of the risk to cause harm to the environment.
The Head of State regretted that the rampant cutting down of trees and burning of charcoal if not quickly addressed, is likely to increase the effects of climate change in the country.
He added that it is therefore important that more stakeholders emulate ZAFFICO and help put up more forest plantations in order to beef up forest reserves in the country.
President Lungu further commended Chieftainess Waitwika for giving up some land to put up the plantation, and encouraged other Chiefs across the country to emulate this noble cause.
Meanwhile Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata revealed that her Ministry has collaborated well with ZAFFICO in opening up other forest reserves and closing up all clear areas with trees in order to promote afforestation in the country.
President Lungu who is in the Province for two days is in the company of Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe, Patriotic Front National Chairperson Samuel Mukupa, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Vincent Mwale and other senior government and Party Officials.