A combined team of senior government officials and state security have raid Lufwanyama’s Sondela area to curb illegal charcoal burning activities which have become rampant in Chief Mukutuma’s chiefdom on the Copperbelt Province.
Lufwanyama District Commissioner Justin Mwalikwa who led a team of officers said his office has been receiving disturbing reports of illegal charcoal burning and land encroachments in the area.
He said it is for this reason that they decided to swing into action to bring perpetrators to book.
Mr Mwalikwa further expressed disappointment with what he found on the ground.
“A big chunk of land has been cut indiscriminately for the sole purpose of charcoal business,” said Mr Mwalikwa.
He observed that the kilns were all over the place, with a number of bags of charcoal stuck in the bush ready to be transported.
ZANIS reports that during the raid suspects scampered in different directions and went into hiding after the team of law enforcement pounced on them.
The District Commissioner has since warned people involved in burning of charcoal to desist as such activities are illegal.
Meanwhile Lufwanyama District Forestry officer Susan Ng’ona expressed shock with the rate at which trees were being cut in the area and added that if left unchecked the situation might escalate and cause serious climate change.
” Currently, Lufwanyama is among the only top three districts with reliable forest cover in the province, but if depleted the area will soon be a desert,” said Ms Ng’ona.