‘We need to invest in afforestation’

GOVERNMENT considers afforestation as an important strategy in mitigating climate change, Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development Charles Zulu has said.
Mr Zulu said it is imperative that the government and other stakeholders invest heavily in restocking Zambia’s depleted forest land to mitigate climate.
Mr Zulu said when he officiated at the commissioning of the Situmbeko grid extension project by the Rural Electrification Authority in Chibombo recently, that among the measures aimed at addressing climate change is the tree-planting exercise, hence the need to reduce deforestation.
Mr Zulu said tree-planting is a priority in Zambia’s efforts to fight deforestation and, ultimately, tackle the effects of climate change.
Climate change is negatively impacting on Zambia’s economic development as evidenced by the low rainfall, which is affecting electricity supply and crop production.
“We have badly been hit by load shedding due to climate change, but what we need to do as a country is to start planting trees, we also need to pray, yes, but prayer is cheap. What we really need is to invest. We must now start fighting against climate change by investing in capacity building.
“If we don’t do it, no one will do it for us. We have the necessary resources, such as water and the sun. Our goal as Government is…to satisfy the Zambian people by supplying them with sufficient power,” Mr Zulu said.
He, however, said Zambia should utilise the natural resources to generate foreign exchange for the country and improve household incomes for families.
Mr Zulu said despite being endowed with many natural resources, Zambia only benefits from copper, but the metal price on the global market has been low.

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