Plant trees for firewood, charcoal to generate income

TANZANIANS have been urged to plant trees for firewood and charcoal to generate income while protecting natural resources from deforestation.

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Head of the History Department, Dr Hezron Kangalawe said trees can become an important source of income when harvested for charcoal and firewood.

“The government can identify areas for planting trees that will be special for charcoal and firewood where people can be directed to the type of trees suitable for the said purpose,” he said.

For example, trees have become the number one activity that brings income for the people of Mufindi, especially women, he said.

Dr Kangalawe said some trees can be planted and harvested between five to ten years.

He said trees have become jobs and have changed the lives of people in areas with forests like Kilolo, Mufindi and some areas in the Iringa Region.

Dr Kangalawe said that instead of the government prohibiting people from cutting down natural trees, they should give them an alternative by showing them places to plant charcoal trees and the other natural ones should remain for other uses such as construction.

He said that apart from harvesting trees for charcoal, planting trees will also help conserve rain.

Furthermore, Dr Kangalawe said about 80 per cent of Kilolo, Mufindi and some areas of the Iringa Region women used to sell firewood as their daily activities.

“Women use firewood as a way to earn income either by selling firewood or using it as cooking energy in their restaurants,” said Dr Kangalawe adding restaurant businesses often target areas where they chop wood or cut trees and burn charcoal.

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