Care for Nature Zambia has condemned the move by President Edgar Lungu to degazete Maposa Forest No. 4 in Luanshya.
Care for Nature Zambia Executive Firector Nsama Musonda Kearns notes that ceasing Maposa to be a forest will no doubt have devastating impacts on the water catchment area which services Luanshya and many more other towns in Zambia that lie along the Kafue River Basin.
Mrs Kearns has since called on President Lungu to reserve the decision and save the forest.
“Degazzating Maposa Forest No. 4 really makes painful and sad reading. Zambia is currently losing it’s forests at a fast rate and to go ahead with reducing forests at a time when the country has witnessed devastating impacts of climate change leaves me with a shiver for the future,” Mrs Kearns said.
“Maposa Forest is a rain belt, shielding Fisenge, Mpongwe, Masaiti and other farmers in Ndola and Luanshya Rural from pollution legacies from 100+ years of mining on the copper belt which has devastated people’s livelihoods including the ecosystem visa a vie Kafue River. Replacing Maposa Forest with a settlement will have future consequences that will affect people in a negative way.”
She has since appealed to the Forestry Department and President Lungu to rethink this decision and make wider consultations before the forest is destroyed.
“The Forestry Act of 2015 provides for Joint Forest Management which empowers people living near forests to participate in conservation and benefit from forestry revenue. What Maposa needs is a Nature Conservancy that will empower residents with green jobs such as bee keeping, mushroom growing, charcoal briquettes, caterpillar harvesting local food and medicine processing.”
“This way they are likely to benefit more from the forest and our Environment will also be safeguarded from climate change affects,” she advised.
“We are all witnesses to the harsh impacts of climate change referring to floods which is costing government huge sums of money through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to resettle affected families and provide relief aid. We also felt the impacts of load shedding on both domestic and commercial businesses.”
“How then can the forestry department Recommend signing a Statutory Instrument to degazette a forests?” She asked.
The Maposa Forest Reserve No. 4 which has been signed off by government to cease being a forest lies along the Great North Road on the T3 way between Luanshya and Kitwe and stretches from the main road covering vast areas and zones within Luanshya through to Mpatamatu.
The forest is strategically reserved in Zambia’s most forested area situated in the Agro Ecological Region three also known as Zambia’s rain belt.
The Agro Ecological Region 3 covers Northern, Luapula, Copper belt and North Western provinces and consists of the highest number of forests in the country with copper belt and western Provinces standing at 37 forests each, North Western 35 and Northern 23.
This region receives the highest rainfall in the country and its forests are protected to conserve water catchment areas and protect biodiversity.
All the forests on the Copperbelt play a significant role in protecting the Kafue River Basin which supplies 40% of rural and urban settlers with water, Hosts the Kafue Gorge Hydro Electricity Power Station which supplies Zambia with 60% of electricity, provides irrigation for the Nakambala Sugar Estate in Mazabuka and services the Kafue Flats which houses the Kafue Flats, Lochinvar and Blue Lagoon National Parks, including the Lukanga Swamps which is home to a variety of fish and bird species and plays the filtering role of servicing the Kafue River from pollution.
The Maposa Forest on the Kitwe side overlooks Mwekera Forest Reserve No.6 where the Zambia Forestry College was established in 1949 to provide technical training in forestry.
The colonial gazetted forests to protect vital water bodies on which humans and animals depend on for their very survival. The PF government doesn’t care if these water bodies dry up.
THE GOVERNMENT LIVES FOR TODAY AND NOT TOMORROW
PLUS THEY WONT BE AROUND WHEN THE IMPACT IS FELT !!!
LOOK AT CHANGE.ORG AND TRY AND SAVE LOWER ZAMBEZI AS WELL
People who make comments must first acquaint themselves with what they’re talking about. Maposa was a forest only on paper because people have been cultivating the area for many years. The shortage of land in Kitwe has caused many people to settle on that land and many have been there before Dawson Lupunga was a Minister at the Ministry of Environment. Chishimba Kambwili’s illegal land activities in the area haven’t helped matters. So on this I agree with Govt’s decision. People need to formalize their stay in this area
Further, I urge Jean Kapata to cancel all Title Deeds that have been issued on this land as irregular. How did people manage to get Deeds on gazetted land? This is the extent of corruption. Edgar issued the directive to de-gazette that land in 2015, what’s the cause of the delay? Can ACC investigate officers at Land Resettlement Office at Ndola?
PF recklessness is alarming. What irresponsible people. Lungu needs to go to jail for all these evils.
Its seems our president is lacking technical advise on certain issues no wonder such decisions are being made.
And this from the same President who has recently been blaming climate change for lack of water to generate electricity, blamed climate change for the flooding parts of the country was experiencing and of course blamed climate change for everything negative before the blame was shifted to covid 19.
He makes speeches about how we should protect our land but is seemingly unconcerned with anything else. Last year’s budget had a paltry 0.2 percent dedicated to fight climate change.
He is frustrating efforts of forest restoration.
Makes you wonder, is this a repeat of forest 27? Where ministers and also HH already had large chunks of land.
Has money already exchanged hands? Wealth individuals buying land for themselves, including some members of cabinet and hence influencing the President’s signature?
Kinda, despite all his faults, cared deeply for our forests and natural resources, he gazetted most of forests.
This lady would make a good minister of tourism. She cares for our wildlife and forests.
She has been insulted and threatened so many times by the cartel but she keeps doing the right thing, reporting malpractices.
And then we have Chitotela. The man that has depleted our black lechwe and big cats. And soon to relocate all animals in lower Zambezi due to mining.
Ever since PF came, there has been nothing it has done to build and improve on the environment. Destruction appears to be in these people’s genes. Forests have disappeared. Trees have gone. Zambia is slowly becoming a desert. What is wrong with PF leaders? They have no sense of saving, whether it is money, the economy or the environment. It is all ‘EAT NOW!’
This lady has raised very good points in favour of her argument.
Our forests must be conserved, why cutting them down always just for a few coins of silver???
At the rate environmental protection is being debased in Zambia the pride of the country as blessed with the lions’ share of water resources will be a thing of the past! Actually the Zambian population has shallow understanding of the worth of natural resources and the relationship human beings need to share a balance with what nature provides in their surroundings to livelihood.
There again is this reckless corrupt termite Edgar Lungu signing off on more water catchment pristine land like he did with area 27 in Lusaka.
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