Charcoal production and fire wood collection are main activities responsible for environmental destruction in Coastal region. While other regions in the country seem to be very restricted in the issue of forest conservation, in coast the situation is somehow different. There is high rate of forest clearing on searching for firewood and timer extraction.
Kisarawe and Mkuranga is the District of coastal region which in the past ten years, most of the areas were covered by natural forests with richness of biodiversity. But due to high demand of wood fuel in town areas mainly Dar es salaam. Large number of the natural forests in the districts that were under village authorities has been cleared; the situation is harsher as after finishing all trees, now people are dealing with roots and stems of trees on Charcoal production. Even in reserved forests such as Pugu reserved forest there is high level of environmental destruction due to illegal harvesting of trees for timber and charcoal production, where large area remained with shrubs and grasses.
Government on its side tried to establish different bylaws and inspection areas for forest products to control this destruction but corruption and poor working capacity among the forest workers still remained an obstacle for this effort.
Now different Environmental Civil Society Organizations directing their effort to these districts to join with Government. For example between 2005 and 2009 GULUKA KWALALA Youth Environmental Group (GYEG) has implemented projects on Environment policy to the local community, training on bee keeping instead of charcoal production and currently two projects are in final stages to be implemented one on wildlife and the second on forest conservation
By concluding the issue is serious and need combination efforts, Government as one side, must employ staff with knowledge and experience, also implementation of forest regulations for proper management. Again the CSOs need to conduct more trains especially on better way of charcoal production as well as to introduce new energy source to people of Dar es salaam so as to reduce their dependence on wood fuel, this is because Dar es salaam residents are the main users of Charcoal from these two districts. Hence if trains will be conducted to people of the two districts, CSOs and Government work together, I’m sure we are going to get the proper solution for the problem.
Soma Said Soma