Natasha Kokai Herald reporter
The Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe has expressed concern over the rise of charcoal trade in urban areas on the back of deforestation in some parts of the country.
The commission’s spokesperson Ms Violet Makoto in an interview with The Herald last week said: “We have noticed with concern the increase in charcoal being sold in urban areas.
‘It is an illegal activity. No one in Zimbabwe is allowed to cut any trees for whatever purpose, and especially to produce charcoal.
“We do appreciate that all that is happening is in response to the energy challenges that the country is facing right now, particularly in urban areas, but as the Forestry Commission, our position is that is an illegal activity and we will continue to play our regulatory role in trying to arrest such activities,” she said.
She also said the commission has taken note of the areas from where the charcoal is being taken from and the commission is set to arrest those selling charcoal and firewood without permission.
“We have noted areas like Muzarabani, Mhondoro, Mat North Hwange area where there is an upsurge in the rate of charcoal making in those areas and, obviously its transportation and sale in urban centres. We have sent our patrol teams to go carry out a blitz that has been dubbed ‘Operation Huni Dzabvepi’, huni in this case encompassing even the charcoal because we know that it is being done to provide energy for the urban dwellers,” she said.