BY Solwezi Today Reporter
Kansanshi Mining Plc co-sponsored and joined the tree planting exercise this year by donating 500 seedlings to the Solwezi Correctional Service during the National Tree planting Day.
During the tree planting exercise, North Western Provincial Minister, Hon. Robert Lihefu, called for concerted efforts towards actualizing a green economy in line with several policy pronouncements that have been made towards restoring the integrity of the protected forest reserves. The forest reserves in the North Western Province have over the years been marred by encroachments by members of the public and indiscriminate cutting down of trees. This deforestation is a major factor in the escalation of climate change.
Mr Lihefu said that there can be no meaningful development if the health of society is compromised as a result of environmental conditions that are detrimental to the very existence of humanity. This tree planting theme had, therefore, come at an opportune time, especially when the global community is battling with the effects of climate change that has manifested itself through various environmental catastrophes such as floods, delayed and erratic rainfall, drought, and a rise in disease incidences, thereby impacting negatively on the wellbeing of society and the economy.
Mr Lihefu said this in Solwezi in a speech read on his behalf by North-Western Province Permanent Secretary, Col. Grandson Wishikoti Katambi during the 2021-2022 tree planting ceremony at Solwezi Correctional Service under the theme; “TREE PLANTING; PATHWAY TO A GREEN ECONOMY’’.
‘’I would like to call upon the people of North Western Province, and that includes men, women and the youth, to take this opportunity within the rain season and plant tress at their homesteads, schools, churches, places of work and any other conducive space where they could plant a tree, ’said Mr Lihefu.
Meanwhile, principal Forestry Officer for the North Western Province, Mr Maxwell Phiri, said that the annual provincial deforestation rate for the province was 0.34%. This is the third highest rate of deforestation in Zambia.
‘’You must realize that direct and indirect causes are unsustainable agricultural practice, unsustainable harvesting of timber, unregulated charcoal production, late dry season fires, and infrastructure developments, among others, said Mr Phiri.
Mr Phiri further said there was need to protect this important natural resource which plays an important role in people’s livelihoods and reduces the effects of climate change.
And in a vote of thanks, Zambia Correctional Service Regional Commander for North Western Province, Assistant Commissioner Mwangala Kufuna, said he was very pleased with efforts made by every stakeholder who donated trees and assured the donors that every plant would be taken care of.