Like elsewhere the phenomenon of deforestation raises a lot of concerns in Zambia. People cut down trees for various reasons. Due to the current electricity problems in cities people use charcoal as their source of energy more than ever before. Hence burning charcoal has become the main source of income for people in rural areas. Thousands of bags of charcoal are taken to Lusaka and Copperbelt day and night. Luapula province which used to be a land of vegetation is gradually losing its identity.
As Missionaries of Africa working in Kasamba, we felt that we had to do something about this phenomenon. In view of raising awareness about the care of our environment, last year we undertook a tree planting project in our Parish. So far we have planted about 3,500 pine trees. We wish to extend this project to at least 10,000 trees in the coming years.
What is more encouraging is that the people of Kasamba are now becoming aware of the importance of planting trees. At the end of last year Caritas Mansa gave to each parish 200 seedlings of pine trees to give to their members. Personally I was amazed to see how people literally fought over those seedlings. Because of this increasing interest in planting trees we are planning together with the Justice and Peace group of Kasamba to have a seminar about how to make nurseries in order to produce more seedlings. In this way we hope that our mission of caring for our environment will extend to the entire Parish and hopefully to the entire Diocese.
Benjamin Itungabose, M.Afr.
(taken from SAP Blog)