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Less charcoal use good for environment

Less charcoal use good for environment

A Natural Resources and Environment Officer with Ngorongoro District Council, Mr Masegeri Tumbuya, led 12 villagers in two-week training on forest assessment and protection. The main objective of the training sponsored by the Frankfurt Zoology Society was to build the capacity of villagers in conserving and preserving the Sarian Forest Reserves which cover an area of 1,500 hectares.

In the course of their training, the villagers also attended practical lessons during which they discovered 22 illegal timber production stalls operating within the forest reserve area. Soon after the training, one of the participants expressed his appreciation of the content of the short course saying he would use the knowledge and skills acquired to sensitize his fellow villagers on the benefits of forest conservation.

The training for the grassroots is commendable because villagers benefit from the existence of forests directly or indirectly, much as they may be showing little or no interest in their protection. Due to lack of conservation awareness, villagers have often invaded forest reserves and destroyed natural vegetations through felling trees for charcoal, firewood, farming and grazing.

Far more destruction of forests has occurred when irresponsible people set fire on their farms during the dry season. In doing so, they have caused big damage to the ecosystem. In other areas of the country, villagers would just sit and watch while illegal logging and timber productions are done in their neighbourhood.

All this happens because to villagers, the forest is all about firewood, charcoal and timber.  However, scientists including ecologists, botanists and environmentalists among many others would do whatever it takes to protect forests for their numerous advantages to human beings. These range from medicinal plants, animals, controlled logging to protection of the ozone layer.

Destruction of forests and natural vegetation has a direct bearing on people’s lives and one such disadvantage is the drying up of water sources, desertification and climate change. To curb such huge damage, district councils with forest reserves in their surroundings should borrow a leaf from Ngorongoro.  More important, researchers working on cheaper source of energy should make it available to people so that they can reduce the use of charcoal, a major cause of tree felling.

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Author: EDITOR

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