SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
CHIEF Nyamphande of the Nsenga speaking people of Petauke District has called on government to urgently give traditional leaders powers to enforce the law against deforestation.
The chief said traditional leaders could immensely help government to fight climate change if they were given powers to deal with those cutting trees indiscriminately.
“As Chiefs, we are very much willing to help government to fight climate change but they need to urgently give us powers to enforce the law on deforestation,” Chief Nyamphande said.
In an interview, the traditional leader told the Sun that the enforcement of laws against deforestation were very weak and urged government to criminalize it if climate change was to be mitigated.
He said people in villages were cutting trees without proper documentation but could not be apprehended by the Department of Forestry due to inadequate man power.
He said the catholic cutting down of trees had a negative impact on the environment which was also affecting climate change.
The Chief said there was also need for introduction of reforestation, to help replant trees that had been cut down.
Chief Nyamphande said it was worrying that despite the Integrated Forest Landscape Project (ZIFIL) being funded by the World Bank, the Forestry Department was not giving proper guidance on how people could access funding.