THE DECISION by the Kapiri Town Council and the Rotary Club of Ndola-Kafubu to partner and embark on a climate change abatement programme is a progressive step and need commendation.
Many other countries have taken climate change mitigation seriously and tree planting is one of the ways being employed.
That some towns in Zambia have also taken this exercise seriously, is indeed a great development.
News that the partnership will plant trees, educate people on the dangers of deforestation, and train charcoal traders on other income generating activities other than charcoal, is good music to all those concerned with climate change.
This programme needs to be given all the support it deserves because it is coming at a time when Zambia faces one of the worst effects of climate change, seriously impacting on the weather, the crops and the people’s lives in general.
The likelihood of crop failure in many parts of Zambia is high this farming season because of the prolonged dry spells that recently experienced which is clearly linked to climate change.
The decision by the project to also engage pupils and sensitise them on the dangers of deforestation, is another good intervention we feel will help ensure that the citizens grow up fully knowing the importance of conserving the environment.
Children, as potential future charcoal traders, also need to seriously understand the relationship between the indiscriminate cutting down of trees and the dry spells and crop failure the nation was experiencing.
We welcome the decision to launch the programme in Kapiri Mposhibecause this focal district has always been one of the major sources of charcoal for Lusaka and Copperbelt towns and obviously the rate of deforestation is very high because most people are engaged in charcoal burning and trade.
People in Kapiri Mposhi find it easier to engage in this type of business because the trees are readily available, and it’s also clear that there is little control or restrictions by anyone on the cutting down of trees or even on the sale of charcoal whose demand is ever on the rise.
The effects of the charcoal burning and trade, in Kapiri Mposhi, is now also evidently visible because some areas where huge forests previously stood are now bare expanses. District forestry officer, Darius Maluzi, has confirmed that charcoal manufacturing is rampant in the area and is the main cause of deforestation.
We commend the decision by the partnership to immediately embark on a tree planting exercise because it is the only way we can reverse the deforestations trend currently happening in Kapiri Mposhi. We know planting a hundred trees is just but a mere “drop in the ocean” for a place like Kapiri Mposhi but it marks a good start to fighting climate change and securing the future of people.
We cannot avoid climate change but we can certainly mitigate its effects by applying small and large scale measures that could help slow it down.