The Guardian Reporter
20th June 11
The authorities in Kilimanjaro Region have been challenged to make sure that procedures for getting permits to cut trees were followed to reduce the alarming rate of deforestation.
IPP Executive Chairman Reginald Mengi, who was the chief guest during a charity walk to raise funds for curbing polio, said Kilimanjaro Region was facing critical challenges including deforestation and poverty.
He said the rate of deforestation was increasing and the government seemed to make little effort to stop the destructive activity.
“Forests have been mercilessly harvested resulting in lack of water in catchment areas, low crop production and poverty,” he said.
Mengi said if looked at critically, corruption could be behind the increased illegal felling of trees.
He explained that most of the lorries transporting forest products did not possess valid permits.
“What should ordinary people do, if they fail to distinguish between genuine from fake permits, since they look similar? We will reach a stage where people will say enough is enough. That they are experiencing shortage of water because of corruption,” he said.
He noted that the danger was people might decide to do something on their own if procedures continued to be flouted.
Explaining how tree felling was increasing rapidly, he said a few years ago he had campaigned to plant trees in the region and over 20 million trees were planted, but to his surprise the rate of tree felling was alarming.
Over 100 people participated in the charity walk which was supported by various organisations including IPP, Akiba Commercial Bank, CRDB Bank, YMCA, Uhuru Hostel, Shah Industries, Bristol Hotel, the Lutheran Church of Tanzania, the Roman Catholic Church and Trans Kibo. The charity was organised by Rotary Club of Moshi in collaboration with other clubs.