Traditional leaders in Muchinga Province have put in place measures to ensure school-going children are not withdrawn from school and taken for caterpillar collection as the season of collection slowly approaches.
And the Ministry of Education in Muchinga Province has held a successful meeting with all Head teachers and District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) which looked at among other issues, withdraw of school – going children during caterpillar harvesting.
The traditional leaders working with law enforcement agencies and organizations involved in conservation of natural resources have also devised measures aimed at sustainable collection of caterpillars.
In separate interviews with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) traditional leaders in Chinsali, Shiwang’andu, Mpika and Kanchibiya where caterpillars are found in large quantities in the region, said they have gone flat out to sensitise parents and other stakeholders on the sustainable collection of caterpillars.
Senior Chief Kopa of the Bisa people says measures have been put in place to deal firmly with parents who will be found withdrawing school-going children and taking them for caterpillar collection.
Senior Chief Kopa said at a meeting held with 24 headmen and senior indunas, it was resolved that parents who will be found to have withdrawn their school -going children and take them for caterpillar collection, will be chased out of the village.
He commended African Parks for spearheading the sensitization campaign on the benefits of early bush burning and the effects of late bush burning.
“We are grateful to everyone and other cooperating partners who came on board to sensitise our people on the sustainable utilisation of natural resources,” said Senior Chief Kopa.
Senior Chief Kopa also announced that no one will be allowed to carry an axe into the Bush during the period of caterpillar collection.
He warned that anybody found cutting down a tree during caterpillar collection period, will be prosecuted in the court of law using appropriate legislative laws enforced either by the local Authority or the Department of Forestry.
And Chief Nkweto wacilinda of Chinsali says the Chiefdom has heightened sensitization campaign on the sustainable collection of caterpillars ahead of the collection season that begins in the first week of November.
Chief Nkweto said other than educating the local people on the sustainable collection of caterpillars, they are also being reminded on the need not to withdraw school -going children and taking them for caterpillar collection.
He said collection of caterpillars will be closely monitored adding that anybody found abrogating the rules will be dealt with accordingly.
“We are very serious this year with caterpillar collection. We need to collect the caterpillars in a sustainable way and also not to disturb school -going children,” said Chief Nkweto.
And the Mutambe Royal Establishment of Chief Chibesakunda also devised measures aimed promoting the sustainable harvesting of caterpillars.
Mutambe Royal Establishment Secretary Charles Musana said burning of the Bush should cease immediately because eggs of caterpillars are now being laid.
Mr. Musana has warned that any village Headperson whose bush will be seen burning, will be taken to task.
“We have been holding a series of meetings in the past months to discuss the best practices in caterpillar harvesting,” said Mr. Musana.
And Muchinga Province Education Officer (PEO) Allan Kaoma says education authorities in the province are grateful to the traditional leadership for partnering with the Ministry of education in ensuring that no school -going child is withdrawn from school and taken for caterpillar collection.
Dr. Kaoma said all Head teachers and District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS ) from all the 9 districts in the province met in Nakonde last week to look at how best to maximize time and recover the lost time through effective teaching and learning.
Dr. Kaoma said a child is a the centre of the recovery programme put in place saying the education authorities welcome the involvement of traditional leaders towards the implementation of effective teaching and learning that allows consistency school attendance of a child.
“We are happy with the involvement of the traditional leadership in the province towards the delivery of quality education by supporting intervention put in place to support effective teaching and teaching,” said Dr. Kaoma.