Government says it will give the Reformed Timber Millers Union (RTMU) a part of the Chikangawa Forest.
The remarks were made on Saturday by Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira when he was the guest of honor at a Tree Planting exercise orgainsed by the Reformed Timber Millers Union at Nthungwa Chikangawa.
Kutsaira said government will soon sign an agreement with the timber millers.
“We are still looking into it, but soon Government through my ministry will consider to share some part of Chikangawa Forest to timber millers. We will do this in order for them to plant more trees and take the responsibility of caring for them. This will help to minimize the misunderstandings with government,” said Kutsaira.
He then hailed the timber millers for organizing the tree planting exercise and urged them continue planting and taking care of the trees in order to maintain the forest.
Kutsaira, however, expressed concern over the malpractice of burning trees in the forest saying it is not a solution for resolving issues.
“There are some people who think that burning Chikangawa Forest is the solution. Burning Chikangawa Forest means you are killing our brothers and sisters who are doing milling business,” he said.
On his part, President of Reformed Timbers Millers Union Paul Nthambazale thanked government for giving the group a licence and promised to plant more trees and take care of them.
“The climate is changing and let us accept that so it is our responsibility to maintain this forest because our children will benefit from it,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Traditional Authority Kabunduli of Nkhatabay said the tree planting exercise showed that the union takes care of the forest.
During the exercise, 1,320 pine trees were planted.