OLIVER SAMBOKO writes
CHARCOAL producers in Siavonga have been warned not to increase production following the ongoing load shedding recently introduced by ZESCO throughout Zambia.
Siavonga District commissioner Lovemore Kanyama said due to rampant cutting of trees for charcoal production, the district was slowly becoming a desert.
He said the current power load shedding by ZESCO did not give the charcoal burners the right to be cutting down trees in the area indiscriminately.
“Charcoal burners are strongly warned against carelessly cutting down trees and that the office of Siavonga district administration in conjunction with their Royal Highnesses will seriously put measures against deforestation,” he said
Mr. Kanyama discouraged charcoal producers from setting fire to a forest as a way of cutting down trees saying the habit must come to a stop because it was the number one cause of diminishing forest reserves in the area.
He said load shedding coupled with the severe hunger situation being experienced in the district must not be used by villagers as an excuse for cutting down trees for charcoal production as an alternative for income earning.
Mr. Kanyama urged the forest department in the district to minimize the issuance of permits to charcoal burners as way of saving the remaining trees.
“To that effect the department of forestry in the district must come up with measures on how they issue out permits to charcoal burners if we are to fight deforestation in the district,” said Mr Kanyama
He called on the residents of Siavonga to come on board and join hands in protecting the environment through use of green energy if the district was to be spared from the effects of climate change.