The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has halted with immediate effect all development projects taking place at forest reserve 27 in Lusaka in order for government to find out how plots were acquired within the reserve area.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Elijah Muchima has instructed the director of the commission of lands to take stock of all activities that have been happening at the forest reserve.
Mr Muchima expressed sadness over the amount of land that has been taken up for development in the forest 27 area, which is also called Chalimbana system recharge area.
Mr Muchima promised to bring sanity in the audition of land as was indicated in the campaigns. He was speaking today when he toured the forest reserve 27 in Lusaka today.
And Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Gary Nkombo stated that following up the illegalities happening at the forests is important even to the next generations.
Mr Nkombo said government will make sure to salvage the recharge area in order to help people around the Chalimbana and Chongwe river areas.
He expressed sadness that despite being advised not to develop the forest by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), the pre-current government still exercised a large portion of the forest reserve 27 area.
Meanwhile, Head of Chalimbana Conservation Trust, Robert Chimambo and Princess Choolwe Nkomesha have expressed gratitude that government is living up to the promise of protecting the environment and the forest reserves.
In 2009, the forest reserve 27 had 1,759 hectares and after being exercised three times in the recent years, only 716 hectares is left.