The Mkupuka Village Natural Resource Committee found near Ikwiriri in Rufiji district has proven the fact that it is possible for communities to protect their own forest resources. It was 3rd September of this year (2011) when we caught timber harvested illegally in our forest (Ngumburuni Forest) said Mkupuka village chairperson Mr Issa Moyogani.
I have reported to the village council and we have agreed to sell all timber confiscated, 70% will go to the village government for village development and 30% will support village natural resource committee to combat illegal activities taking place in forest, illegal timber harvesting is the big challenge and threat to the village forest he insisted.
However we have been collecting revenue from forest products for years now and through this revenue we have constructed village office which incurred 15 millions of which 4,000,000/= Ths was the grant from Rufiji District Council and 1,000,000/= Ths from legislative office, we have spent 7 million for constructing three deep water pumping wells in our village.
In addition, the villagers are now expecting to build village market to increase more opportunities for villagers to sell their products for livelihood improvement. So it is important for every individual to show concern in our forest resource ie to insure sustainable utilization and conservation forest resource he emphasised. From the initiative taken by Mkupuka village is it right time for stakeholders from forest sector to support village natural resource committees in order to rescue our forest.
Written by John Reuben-YET 2011