Minister of Tourism Vera Kamtukule has commended Conservation of Natural Resources for Sustainable Economic Returns for transforming people’s lives in Salima District.
Under the project, communities are involved in several initiatives, including reclaiming gullies to restore soil fertility to improve crop production. The project also empowers communities on how to make Mbeya fertiliser, establishing woodlots and planting vetiver grass to check soil erosion.
Speaking on Friday in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chisamba when she appreciated the impact of the project, Kamtukule said the project is helping vulnerable people achieve better livelihoods.
She said: “I am excited that the project is mostly being led by women, this is a great achievement. There is no project that can run without the community’s involvement and this is why it is a success.
“I believe that the community will be able to sustain the project after it phases out.”
Kamtukule further said it is unfortunate that people were cutting down trees for charcoal production.
Tear Fund country director Vincent Moyo, whose organisation is funding the project, said the initiative has empowered people to restore degraded landscapes for farming.
“We are pleased to see government taking a lead in the project’s implementation. The project has improved people’s livelihoods as well as conserving wildlife,” he said.
However, T/A Chisamba Area Development Committee chairperson January Malizani decried a security lapse at Thuma Forest where animals continue to harm people.
“We live in fear as elephants and wild pigs are hurting and killing our people. We are renting farms from elsewhere as they also destroy our produce,” he said.