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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Forestry Department confiscated bicycles and bags of charcoal from illegal charcoal burners

Rural News Forestry Department confiscated bicycles and bags of charcoal from illegal...

The Forestry Department in Chifunabuli District in Luapula Province has confiscated 16 bicycles and 36 bags of charcoal from 16 illegal charcoal burners.

This follows a joint patrol by officers from Chembe, Mansa and Chifunabuli Districts aimed at curbing illegal charcoal trading in the area.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS after the patrol, Chifunabuli District Forestry Officer, Memory Simangolwa said the patrol was one of the control measures put in place to ensure that illegal cutting down of trees in the district is minimized.

“As a department, patrols and confiscation of illegal charcoal by banners in the district is one of the measures put in place to ensure that the illegal cutting down of trees is minimized as it can lead to deforestation,” she said.

Ms Simangolwa said prior to the patrols, the department spent 14 days at the charcoal market educating them on the importance of getting permits.

“Prior to the patrols, our department spent 14 days by at the charcoal market and ensured that the charcoal sellers were well educated on the need for them to get permits in order for them to trade legally and had no excuse of trading without licenses,” she explained.

She said once confiscated, the charcoal becomes state property, and the bicycles are only released to the owners upon payment of a fine of K300.

“Once confiscated, the charcoal becomes state property and is to be sold by the department, and the bicycles are only released to the owners upon payment of a fine of 300 kwacha and the money raised will be used to plant trees in the planting season which is held annually from 15th November to 15th January,’’ she said.

Ms Simangolwa however revealed that the district has been having challenges in carrying out patrols as they are facing transport challenges.

“As a district, we are facing challenges in carrying out patrols as we do not have a vehicle and Chifunabuli is vast. The District also has the Mwewa Local Forest which we are supposed to preserve but due to the transport challenge, we are unable to patrol the forest despite being aware of the illegal cutting down of trees and charcoal burning in the local forestry. This patrol was only made possible using a vehicle from the Mansa team,” she said.

She has since called on government to look into the plight of the department and procure a vehicle to easy the operations of the department.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder if all those charcoal traders on the Solwezi Chingola Road are legal . The amount of charcoal paraded for sale on this highway makes you wonder how safe the forests in this area are.

  2. There should be no permits whats over for cutting trees. And there should no licences in whatever form for game hunting.

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  3. People need skills to hv a fighting chance in a money economy. That land where they cut the trees to produce charcoal can be environmentally worked in a way that would enable them to earn a decent living. But they don’t hv the knowledge and organisation ability to do that. This is the challenge we face.

  4. First give charcoal burners and traders an alternative to earning a living from the indiscriminate cutting down and burning of trees before you confiscate their charcoal and bicycles. The burning of trees for making and trading on charcoal is a source of livelihood for poor people. In addition, find an alternative to wood or charcoal fuel to reduce poor people’s dependency on charcoal as a household source of fuel for heating and cooking purposes.

  5. Confiscate, fine them. What do they do to earn a living the week after? We are not solving any problems here.
    Let us learn to apply research in our solutions to protecting the environment. What else can our men and women in the villages do that will bring food on their table? Proactive actions are required here.

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  6. Charcoal is the main source of energy and livelihood for many poor Zambians. What is needed is efficient and sustainable harvesting technologies backed by a strong regulatory framework and public education and awareness. Enforcing the law alone on these poor people is not the solution. What is the alternative?

  7. THE LAW ON CHACOAL BURNING MUST BE ABOLISHED, THE GOVERNMENT HAS NEVER COME OUT WITH A WAY TO SOLVE PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS ON HOW TO USTILIZE FIRE. THE LAW JUST TALK ABOUT ENVIROMENTAL DESTRUCTION AND YET 70% OF THE POPULATION HAVE NO MEANS OF ELECTRICAL OR GASS STOVES. I HAVE SEEN EVEN MINISTERS BUYING CHACOAL. THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS CHACAOL IS MOSTLY DONE IN THE FIELDS WHERE THEY ARE PREPARING TO FARM. THE MOST WORSTFUL IS CLEARING THE FIELD FOR FARMING THEN YOU BURN ALL TREES – TO ME THIS IS EVIL. ONE WANTS TO MAKE USE THE CUT DOWN TREES IN HIS/HER FARM FOR CHACOAL BUT YOU DENY BUY SAYING YOU ARE A DE-FORESTATING. I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THIS KIND OF LAW.

  8. #3 Nemwine. Part of fund raiser by parents did was charcoal burning. We did our charcoal burning in a place called Luano North East of Chingola. The Kapenda Mabula (forestry officers) were very committed to their. Each day they allocate trees to cut by each charcoal burners while marking out of bounds trees. They did a good job. Today I don’t see such commitment, all they do is mount road blocks…. which doesn’t the problem because the tree is already cut. They are too lazy to do the forest patrols.

  9. Only people with full bellies can worry about the forest. These people are scrapping to just have a meal for their families. Leave them alone

  10. While it is necessary to combat illegal charcoal trading, there is no energy strategy in the long term to resolve this. These people are simply making a living and why would the pay K40 per bag to forestry only to sell the charcoal for K60 for such hard work! Come on! Leave them alone and provide the with alternatives

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  11. Wasting your time.Just leave them alone. Illegal Charcoal is all over being transported by trucks and not bicycles in all Zambian cities.

  12. This always makes very sad reading. Do these people have alternative energy source? Do they have any other form of livelihood? As long as the answer to these questions is a big NO, they will unfortunately always engage in cutting down trees. What then is the solution?

  13. The problem lays purely those living in urban areas.. If there is NO interruption on electricity, they need for Charcoal will automatically fall.

  14. Come up with a new way of making charcoal such as using saw dust from mills , if you kill the forests then no jobs or food for anyone make a plan now for the future.

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