RESIDENTS of Kuta and Qwam villages in Mbulu District, Manyara region deserve a pat on the back for heroic decision that resulted to agreeable allocation of 72.2 hectares for the establishment of community based forest reserves.
The Forestry Officer for Mbulu District, Mr Josep Kimaro said the self-benefit decision was unanimously reached in October this year after presentation of a land use plan which was accepted by the villagers for forests conservation in the area.
"The plans received a strong support by the villagers as well as the district authorities through forestry project in collaboration with Farm Africa," Kimaro explained.
He said that the villagers used to graze their livestock in the forests without consideration to sustainable control measures to prevent destruction of the forest cover in the area. "The villagers used to live in perpetual land conflicts and others used to unsystematic grazing of their livestock in the forests.
Others cultivated the land for annual crops as a result, the forests started to disappear rapidly," he noted. According to Mr Kimaro, the land (72.2 hectares) was suitable for the establishment of the village land forest reserves, cultivation, grazing, settlement as well as sustainable management of natural resources.
He said the land was also set aside for the purpose following community awareness campaign which was carried out on land use and laws in relation to the existing policies also conveyed to the community by a team comprising all key stakeholders.
On the other hand, the Community Development Officer-on Land Use Planning with Farm Africa, Mr Emmanuel Amos said that through awareness initiative, the villagers agreed to regulate the traditional random livestock grazing method to adopt controlled grazing practice.
Mr Amos said that the aim of the initiative was to help in sustainable management of natural resources including forests, water and land. The initiative also aims at reducing destruction of the forest.