By Azania Post Reporter
The government has been asked to direct its forests conservation efforts in areas, which accommodate more refugees particularly in the western part of the country.
Dr. Celestino Balama from Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (Tafori) told the press in Dar es Salaam that environment in areas that accommodate refugees are highly destroyed.
“Refugees cut down trees for construction and cooking, so we have to make sure afforestation programs are in place in those areas,” he suggested.
He said the rate of deforestation is alarming since a total of 372,000 hectares of forest are lost every year.
Among the areas that have been badly affected by deforestation include Kigoma, Tabora, and Rukwa region which also accommodates a number of refugees.
“This is not healthy for the development of our country, concerted efforts are needed to reduce or alleviate this challenge,” he noted.
In a move aimed at discussing various challenges and research, he said Tafori in collaboration with other stakeholders have organized a two-day meeting later this month.
The meeting to be attended by the Natural Resources and Tourism minister Dr. Hamis Kigwangalla in Morogoro region on April-24-25 this year would discuss and recommend various issues regarding forest industry.
According to the Forest act (Cap323 Re: 2002), cutting down of trees is prohibited except with a permit from the Forestry director.
Experts say rampant cutting of trees has been taking place for decades due to inadequate capacities in government and its institutions to enforce the laws.