Noah Pito in Hurungwe
Traditional leaders, as custodians of natural resources in rural communities, must enforce tree planting at household level as a way of curbing devastating effects of climate change, a Government official has said. Officiating at a tree planting ceremony held at Chisape Secondary School in Ward 10 in Hurungwe last Friday, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland West Province, Cde Faber Chidarikire, said it was incumbent on chiefs and village heads to educate their communities and ensure that trees were planted at household unit level periodically.
Cde Chidarikire said the planting of trees was another way of invigorating food security for rural communities since families and even visitors could easily get relief from fruits.
“Chiefs and village heads who are here, since you stay with people in your communities we encourage you to talk to your subjects and agree on the methods you can use so that you enforce the planting of trees particularly fruit trees, at every household level.
“If there are no forests, our children will have no knowledge of our legacy. They won’t know trees and animal species. How do you think children will know mhembwe (buck) or muvanga when you destroy the forests?”
He said it was shocking that some homesteads did not even have a single fruit tree like a guava or mango, yet at such homesteads there were children.
“We must show that we have regard for our children. Trees, apart from offering shelter to animals and providing us with oxygen, are also the source of medicines that save our lives. We should continue planting them as they are used for food security, in treating various ailments and giving shelter to our animals.
“Remember it is the depletion of trees that is causing climate change which is now breeding droughts,” he said.
Cde Chidarikire condemned Hurungwe’s fire management record which he said was the worst countrywide.
This was after Mashonaland West Environmental Management Provincial Officer, Mrs Eunice Mutepfa, had bemoaned the yearly destruction of lives and property in Hurungwe due to veld fires.
Mrs Mutepfa said it was high time Hurungwe put more focus on its fire management since it currently was the most troublesome districts countrywide, in terms of fire management.
Mrs Mutepfa said human lives had been destroyed with three lives having been lost during the 2015 fire season.
She urged farmers to prepare fireguards on time, saying that those with livestock must use the grass for preparing fodder for their animals.
Said Cde Chidarikire: “Our yields are going down because there is no vegetation to support our soils through decomposition of vegetative matter. Please let’s turn Hurungwe’s fire management record into the best in the country. The statistics that we have of deaths and destruction of property emanating from veld fires in this district is not good, you heard Mrs Mutepfa talking about this issue of veld fires, lets strive and become the best district in terms of fire management.
Earlier on Cde Chidarikire planted a munzviru tree at the school where local villagers and other invited guests also got a chance to plant different types of trees donated by Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance Company.
Nyaradzo donated 1 000 trees towards the occasion that was organised by the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe.
Among those who attended the occasion were Hurungwe Rural District Council (HRDC) Chief executive officer Cde Joram Misheck Moyo, Mashonaland West provincial education director Mr Sylvester Mashayamombe, Acting district administrator Mr Friend Ngirazi, Hurungwe district education officer Mr Jason Dzveta, HRDC chairman Cde Tichaona Matthew and Karoi Town Council chairman Cde Richard Ziki.