Deforestation ruins Kilimanjaro

Deforestation ruins Kilimanjaro

The environmental stakeholders have been called upon to regroup and forge the way forward in tackling environmental degradation in Kilimanjaro region. Mr Leonard Massawe, the Executive Director of Lepaje, an NGO that fights environmental degradation, said here that special efforts should be directed to protect water sources, areas around Mount Kilimanjaro and curb deforestation. The director said the environmental degradation pace in Moshi is worrisome and that unless thorough measures are taken against people involved in the acts, Kilimanjaro will soon lose its natural beauty.
"The pace of environmental degradation is alarming in Kilimanjaro region as there are businessmen who have engaged illegally in timber and log trade and are not dealt with properly," lamented Mr Massawe. He expressed concern on the loss of biodiversity to the area that was, for generations, a major source of abundant drinking water for all residents, irrigation and a power generating source for the National Grid.
He said the problems facing Moshi and Kilimanjaro as a whole include land degradation, habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity, deterioration of aquatic systems, deforestation, frequent forest fires and pollution.
The problems, he said, have a negative impact on the economy and well-being of the people of Kilimanjaro. He also pointed out that to a great extent, human activities are to blame for climate change in the region. He promised to press on with activism in controlling environment degradation and asked other stakeholders to join hands. The director noted that climate change has affected greatly development projects including agriculture as many farmers depend on rain that do not fall as it used to be in yesteryears.
He however said that since they initiated afforestation programmes in open areas, people's residences and in different institutions it seems the greenish image of Kilimanjaro would be ensuing soon.
He warned against the recent notorious habit of people felling trees and consequently transport them at night, and urged people to volunteer information so that all who do that are brought to justice. He said if no action is taken to curb deforestation water sources will dry up and people end in trouble as water has no alternative. He called for the government to participate in looking for alternative energy, so that families and institutions do not use firewood for cooking.
Source: AllAfrica

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