Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, in partnership with the police, has launched a campaign to end illegal harvesting of trees in forest reserves to avert deforestation.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, ministry’s spokesperson responsible for Environment and Climate Change, Sangwani Phiri, said the campaign, which started on Monday, is mostly targeting charcoal production and firewood businesses.
He said the ministry, alongside police, will be patrolling various forest reserves and mount road blocks.
Phiri said people seeking to venture into charcoal business should apply for licenses but will be granted upon full filling set conditions.
“First they must have their own plot on which they are to plant trees and will have to take care of those trees until they mature. We cannot just grant licenses to people who don’t have land and have not planted trees,” said Phiri.
Many parts of the country have been left bare after tree were cut down mostly for firewood and charcoal production. n