Zambia has continued to lose millions of forest hectors due to heavy deforestation being carried out in various places in the country and Limulunga district in Western Province is not an exception.
To help resolve this problem, Keepers Zambia Foundation ( KZF ) has embarked on stronger community involvement on the conservation of forests, through its project dubbed “harnessing the potential of forestry in Limulunga”.
KZF Field Facilitator Lungowe Nyambe said most forest reservoirs in the district are encroached by the locals and unsustainable timber harvests for charcoal production is rife.
“When you look at Limulunga now the picture is not pleasing that is why we have come up with this project to change the picture in collaboration with other government departments and the Barotse Royal Establishment”, he said.
The project which is being implemented at a cost of over two hundred thousand with financial support from people in need (PIN) aims to enlighten women and youths on the need to own and protect their forest.
PIN Capacity Building Officer Gift Nyambe has commended KZF for prioritizing the protection forests in the district.
“We want to thank KZF for this project because our forests have diminished in the outskirts hence the need to come up with stronger regulation,” she noted
She also observed that collaboration with the BRE and Forestry Department, Department of Agriculture, the local Council and the community is key in the project.
Meanwhile, Forestry Department Senior Extension Officer Jennifer Mate applauded KZF for joining the crusade against deforestation.
“Most of our forests have depleted due to many encroachments taking place in our area. It is great that the community is being involved fully,” she said.
Joseph Mutumba a farmer in Nang’oko called for stronger partnership between the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and government in the management of nature.
He said the BRE should also work with village Indunas to ensure compliance from the locals in protecting natural resources adding there is currently a gap.