Luangwa District Commissioner Julius Sikasote has expressed worry that increased demand for timber for construction purposes may deplete the local forest reserves.
Mr. Sikasote said this demand has led to the increase in illegal cutting down of trees for timber production.
He has since cautioned Luangwa residents against engaging in illegal cutting down of trees and urged the Forestry department to enhance surveillance activities to curb the scourge.
Mr. Sikasote also said there was need to promote sensitization on the importance of preserving trees in the district.
The District Commissioner said the district can only sustain infrastructure development if the cutting down of trees is controlled and well managed.
And Luangwa District Forestry Officer Evans Simwanza said his department was working in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to curb the illegal cutting down of trees for timber.
Mr. Simwanza said the department has been carrying out patrols in the forest areas to control the cutting down of trees.
“We have seen people cut down trees for timber while others are doing it for charcoal,” he said.
He has meanwhile disclosed that the department of forestry collected revenue amounting to K47, 983.23 in the fourth quarter of the year 2020 from the production timber, charcoal and reed-mats.
“We also confiscated timber worth K12, 042.17 in the last quarter of 2020,” he said.
Mr. Simwanza explained that the confiscated timber was auctioned by the local court in the district.
He further revealed that the forestry department planted 1,700 Eucalyptus seedlings to extend the plantations in the areas by two hectares.