Mongu, Sunday, 14th April, 2024 – Minister of Green Economy and Environment Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu MP says national capital should benefit the local people in the areas where they are situated.

And Hon. Nzovu has warned that starting this week, charcoal burning will not be allowed in areas where trees have depleted noting that charcoal burners have now resorted to cutting small trees for charcoal which is detrimental to the environment.

During a meeting with Western Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hon. Nzovu said there was need to ensure that products from natural resources go round the economy for a longer time.

“What is it that we should be doing to grow our industries? My motivation basically for coming here is, I wanted to come and see what we can do together, me representing Government. What should we be telling Government to do for the people of Western Province,” he said.

“We are in a climate crisis and water is the biggest resource in Western Province. You are seeing it diminishing and diminishing very fast, already the route for Kuomboka has changed. Climate change is even affecting traditional ceremonies,”

Hon. Nzovu said it is important to keep forests intact. “We are causing these problems ourselves. Those who keep a lot of trees attract more rainfall and more rivers flow. This is simple science. We need to keep our forests as intact as possible,” he said.

He said although the country was faced with an energy crisis with long hours of loashedding, that should never be the reason to cut down trees.

Hon. Nzovu further challenged the Western Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry to wean themselves off the National Grid and go for solar energy.

And Hon. Nzovu said if no measures are put in place to protect the forests, areas such as Southen, Central, Eastern and Western Provinces will become a dessert,” he said.

“As a measure to control charcoal
burning, the Ministry will heighten roadblocks across the country to ensure that people comply with the Forest Act and environmental regulations. We are going to stamp on the charcoal burners and I am sounding this warning here in Mongu, Western Province. We will mount roadblocks on every road leading to Lusaka, leading to Mongu, leading to the capital we will do that.”

He said there was need to look at alternative livelihoods and one of the best alternative livelihoods was farming.

And Kuomboka Kufuluhela Management Committee Chairperson Induna Luyanga, said climate change which has affected the country has also affected the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the entire people because the route of the Kuomboka from Lealui to Limulunga has changed.

He said this is because the place is dry and the BRE will use the man-made water channels to cross to the harbour.

Induna Luyanga said in the wake of climate change, there is need to find solutions to the negative effects of climate change and Western Province was ready to be such a solution.

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