TZ faces deforestation of disaster proportions

Village residents threatening forest reserves

Village residents threatening forest reserves

A study released by the National Forest Resources Monitoring and Assessment of Tanzania (NAFORMA) this week indicates the country loses a massive 372,000 ha of trees annually to charcoal burning.

The shows more than 90 per cent of rural communities depends on wood as a source of energy, leading to widespread degradation and growing pressure on the forest reserves.

Commenting on the study Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFSA) Juma Mgoo said forest reserves in Tanga, Morogoro, Lindi and Geita are greatly in danger.

He cited poor management of forest reserves by forest officers and adequate participation of communities in forest management activities as major reasons for such loses.

“The annual consumption of wood by rural households is due to the lack of alternative sources of energy, the consumption has exceeded the sustainable supply causing an annual deficit of 19.5m cubic meters,” Mgoo revealed

The Director of Forest Resource Assessment Unit Nurdin Chamuya, says the total number of trees in Tanzania mainland is estimated to be 77.2 billion with total of 225 species.

“But due to human consumption useful tree species are becoming rare, while other species are cut before the required age limit between 28-30 years.” he said.

Chamuva attributed forest loss to poor management of forest reserved areas to villagers encroaching on them as they search for firewood.

He warns if the trend is not checked Tanzania is expected to lose 1 million ha of forest per year by 2030.

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Acting Director Forestry and Beekeeping Division Gladness Mkamba, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said that, all stakeholders should base on the report to act.