By Jarson Malowa:
Chivunde and Mulunguzi Timber Millers cooperatives have asked the Forestry Department to grant them ownership of Zomba Mountain Forest.
Chivunde Timber Millers Cooperative Chairperson, Joseph Lidi, made the call when Forestry Department Director, Stella Gama, toured the forest on Wednesday last week.
“A high number of hectares of this forest is being destroyed every year despite that we take care of it. Therefore, we would like to own this forest for us to have the power of controlling such incidents,” Lidi said.
Gama said she was impressed with Chivunde and Mulunguzi Timber Millers cooperatives’ work.
She said the department would consider the request of the cooperatives.
“As you have seen during this tour, the escarpments they are taking care of are better than those that we, as the government, are looking after. This is why I would love if we take time and discuss the way forward on their request,” Gama said.
This year, fire destroyed 41.9 hectares of the forest.
However, only 0.1 hectares of the two cooperatives were destroyed with fire, a development which Gama was impressed with.
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