Forest watchdog impounds trucks loaded with bags of charcoal in Munbwa district


Twelve trucks carrying over 850 bags of Charcoal have been impounded in Mumbwa District of Central Province for trading and transporting without statutory permits as required by the Forest Law No.4 of 2015, authorities say.

Provincial Forestry Officer, Central Province, Odilia Longe in a statement issued in Mumbwa on Wednesday said a joint forest patrol operation was conducted by Forest Officers from Kabwe led by the Provincial Forestry Officer.

Longe said the operation was conducted following the rampant illegal charcoal trade and transportation which has resulted into wanton destruction and degradation of forests in the district.

She said patrols were conducted on the Lusaka/Mongu Road and Mumba Local Forest and further, the team unveiled four illegally operating timber saw mills, which are fully operating on timber which is illegally harvested.

Longe said the saw mills are operating in Mumbwa District, Central Business Area and the total number of assorted illegal timber logs seized are 127.

“In the same saw mills, 542 illegal planks were also seized. This is as opposed to section 52 (1) (a) as read with Section 53 (1) (a) to (h) and (2) which prescribes the appropriate permits to acquire for tree felling,” she said.

Longe said government is discouraging the indiscriminate cutting down of trees for charcoal purposes to preserve the forests for future generations.

She said healthy forests are vital for all aspects of a healthy planet, from, medicines, livelihoods and nutrition to biodiversity and the environment.

Read More:’We can’t eat food raw’, local chief seeks govt’s quick response to providing alternatives to charcoal

“As a Ministry we will continue sensitizing people on the importance of protecting forests and we will intensify patrols in all districts.

“We would like call on traders to explore alternative economic activities for their livelihoods that can support them and preserve our natural resources,” Longe said.

She said the loose charcoal will be disposed of by auction after obtaining a court order from the Courts of Law.

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