Juliet Sigauke, H-Metro Reporter
THE Environmental Management Authority and the Forestry Commission have warned the public to desist from cutting down trees and trading of firewood.
As the extensive Zesa load shedding continues countrywide, the authorities were calling on the public to consider alternative power energy sources.
EMA’s Environmental Educational and Publicity manager Amkela Sidange said the cutting down of trees for firewood has a bad impact both on the environment and the atmosphere.
“The cutting down of trees is discouraged on the ground that when more and more trees are cut there is loss of bio-diversity within the ecosystem.
“The ground will also be exposed to land degradation we are saying as an alternative let’s use environmentally friendly alternative like solar energy, or biogas.
“The cutting down of trees will alter the atmosphere affecting the greenhouse effect,” she said.
Forestry Commission spokesperson, Violet Makoto said there were policies in place that govern the cutting down of trees and the trading of firewood.
“One has to go through the process of registering and getting a trader’s license to trade firewood.
“If one is caught selling or buying firewood from unlicensed individuals or companies, the law will take its course.
“The selling of firewood is only allowed when it is for agricultural purposes,” Makoto said.
Makoto added that the production and selling of charcoal is prohibited in Zimbabwe.
“There are regulations that allow the police and the forest officers to arrest anyone selling firewood without a licence and to seize vehicles that are used to transport both firewood and charcoal.”
The continued nationwide power cuts have resulted in an increase in the cutting down of trees, and the trading of firewood and charcoal at exorbitant prices.