Afforestation campaign in-offing

ZANZIBAR is in final stage to launch its afforestation campaign dubbed ‘make the Islands green again’ along with promoting environment and marine conservation as among the country’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

“We are soon going to launch the campaign to have everyone involved,” Ms Harusi Said Suleiman- State Minister, First Vice President’s Office said, as she called on her fellow Minister to be in the forefront to make the exercise successful.

Her announcement comes after the First Vice-President Othman Masoud Othman met, on different occasions, with different executives at local administration councils and ministries to share the worrying decrease of trees and forests, and environmental degradation.

She said here that the inclusive campaign aims to develop vegetation sites, rehabilitate degraded land areas including coastal areas, and restore plant diversity by motivating local communities to contribute to afforestation in vegetation sites by planting trees.

During his tour, the First Vice-President of Zanzibar said that the effects of climate change and environmental pollution were serious making it necessary for the government to take mitigation and adaptation measures in the Islands.

“Due to these challenges, several parts of the Zanzibar islands are being affected by rising sea water, entering farmers’ fields and people’s residences, while erosion at the beaches is also going on,” Mr Othman said.

He added that in encountering the situation, the government has come up with a comprehensive plan to restore Zanzibar to greenness by encouraging citizens to plant trees and taking care of them.

He said the campaign will strengthen collaboration with the people and other organisations in the world will encourage and motivate planting of trees such as mangrove, fruit trees and other types of trees that can help to minimise impact of climate change.

Earlier, Mr Sadifa Juma Khamis- District Commissioner (DC) for Unguja North ‘A” said that his district is facing a big challenge of land conflicts associated with illegal sand mining, which has greatly contributed to the destruction of the environment.

On his part, the DC for Unguja ‘B’ District Mr Hamid Seif Said, asked the community to stop hiding criminals and warned that his district will continue to have strategies to deal with the problem of illegal sand mining in accordance with the law.

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