Bulawayo — A Mzilikazi man has taken reforestation to a higher level.
BY SILAS NKALA
Tree-planting enthusiast, Kheyi Masuku of Mzilikazi in Bulawayo started an indigenous and citrus trees nursery at his home sometime in 2009 and has not looked back.
He has nursed thousands of seedlings which he mostly distributes to individuals and organisations interested in tree-planting programmes.
Masuku said his project, which was all along based in Bulawayo, has spread to Nkayi and Gokwe where he has planted 20 000 seedlings of both citrus and indigenous trees.
“I have opened trees nurseries in Nkayi ward 6 at Sibangelana at Councillor Bernard Nyathi’s home. I also opened another one in Gokwe at Mateta 2 Jabula Centre,” said Masuku.
He said a total of about 20 000 tree plants were growing in Gokwe and Nkayi while 10 000 plants were in Bulawayo.
“For the period 2011-2012, I have distributed over 5 000 plants in Mbembesi, Bulawayo, Shurugwi,Umguza, Nkayi, Tsholotsho and Gokwe South excluding those which I planted at the new nurseries I have opened in Nkayi and Gokwe.
“My aim is to assist the government in controlling deforestation and to reduce the effects of climate change which are affecting the country,” said Masuku.
He said he was concerned by the way trees were being cut in urban areas as people sought to clear land for urban agriculture or to get firewood.
Masuku said he was engaging the Bulawayo City Council in an effort to conscientise it on the need to safeguard the few available trees.
He said he had also engaged the local authority to give him land to conduct his tree-planting activities as he currently does that at his home where there is little available space.
“I have not received any assistance from anywhere but I am still talking to the council to see if they can offer me land for the nursery.
“I am also requesting the government to assist me with space because there are a number of citrus trees which I intend to plant that may assist in the provision of employment if the nursery is given a space,” he said.