By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
As the caterpillar collection season draws near, traditional leaders in Muchinga Province have put in place measures to ensure that school-going children continue with their education.
And the Ministry of Education officials in the region successfully held a meeting with all Head teachers and District Education Board Secretary (DEBS ) which tackled the matter, among other issues.
Working with law enforcement agencies and organizations involved in conservation of natural resources, the traditional leaders have also devised measures aimed at sustainable collection of caterpillars.
ZANIS reports that Senior Chief Kopa of the Bisa people says measures have been put in place to deal firmly with parents who will be found withdrawing school-going children and taking them for caterpillar collection.
Speaking during a meeting held with 24 headmen and senior indunas, Senior Chief Kopa warned that parents or guardians who will be found guilty of withdrawing their school -going children for caterpillar collection, will be evicted from his chiedfom.
He further commended African Parks organisation for spearheading the sensitization campaign on the benefits of early bush burning and the effects of late bush burning.
“We are grateful to everyone and other cooperating partners who came on board to sensitise our people on the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, I want to announce that no one will be allowed to cut down trees during the period of caterpillar collection,” he said.
He warned that anybody found cutting down a tree during caterpillar collection period, will be prosecuted in the court of law using appropriate legislative laws enforced either by the local Authority or the Department of Forestry.
And Chief Nkweto wacilinda of Chinsali says the Chiefdom has heightened sensitization campaign on the sustainable collection of caterpillars ahead of the collection season that begins in the first week of November.
And stressing the importance of educating the local people on the sustainable collection of caterpillars, Chief Nkweto said collection of caterpillars will be closely monitored sustainably.
“We are very serious this year with caterpillar collection. We need to collect the caterpillars in a sustainable way and also not to disturb school -going children,anybody found abrogating the rules will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.
The Mutambe Royal Establishment of Chief Chibesakunda Secretary Charles Musana also said that burning of the Bush should cease immediately because eggs of caterpillars are now being laid.
Mr Musana warned that any village Headperson whose bush will be seen burning, will be taken to task adding that the traditional leadership will soon be meeting to pray for a successful caterpillar collection in 2021.
“We have been holding a series of meetings in the past months to discuss the best practices in caterpillar harvesting, ” he said.
And Muchinga Province Education Officer (PEO) Allan Kaoma said that education authorities in the province are grateful to the traditional leadership for partnering with the Ministry of education in ensuring that no school -going child is withdrawn from school and taken for caterpillar collection.
Dr Kaoma said all Head teachers and District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS ) from all the 9 districts in the province met in Nakonde last week to look at how best to maximize time and recover the lost time through effective teaching and learning.
“A child is a the centre of the recovery program put in place, the education authorities welcome the involvement of traditional leaders towards the implementation of effective teaching and learning that allows consistency school attendance of a child, we are happy with the involvement of the traditional leadership in the province towards the delivery of quality education by supporting intervention put in place to support effective teaching and teaching, ” he said.