ARUSHA (Tanzania), Tanzanian government announced to conduct a six-month operation to remove invaders from the forests and reserved areas across the east African nation.

Suleiman Jafo, Tanzania's Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), made the announcement soon after visiting one of the highly deforested Makere Forest Reserve, which is located in western Tanzania's region of Kigoma.

The minister stressed the importance of local communities to request for permits before getting into the protected forests for whatever reason. He said that the six-month operation will involve all protected forest across the country.

He said that time has come for Tanzania to act on wantonly tree felling, which is threatening the country's forest cover and people's livelihoods.

Tanzania has some 33 million hectares of forests and woodland, but the country has been losing forest for two decades, according to Tanzania Forest Service (TFS)'s recent report.

Commenting on the Makere Forest Reserve, Jafo said Tanzanian government has set aside a total of 10,012 hectares of land outside the forest reserve that could be used for agricultural activities by the villagers.

The forest is reported to be on the verge of extinction due to invasions since villagers are now conducting agricultural activities in the forest, which is one of the water sources for Kasulu and Uvinza district.

Valentine Msusa, Tanzania Forest Service (TFS) Western Zone Manager, described deforestation as a thorn to the protected area, which measures some 62,000 hectares.

Source: NAM News Network