Mopane woodland in Zambezi at risk

07 Jun 2017 10:50am
WINDHOEK, 07 JUN (NAMPA) – The Mopane woodland is at risk of damage following the escalation of charcoal production in the Bukalo communal area in the Zambezi Region.
Residents are collaborating with Zambians to produce charcoal and firewood.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Annual Report for the 2015/16 financial year, this is just one of the many challenges faced by the Directorate of Forestry.
Tabling the report in the National Assembly on Tuesday, line Minister John Mutorwa said about 108 995 tonnes of wood to produce charcoal and 61 546 tonnes of firewood were removed from the forest during the period under review.
It says 1 422 tonnes of firewood and 38 tonnes of charcoal were confiscated from people not having legal supporting documentation. The confiscated material was auctioned to the public.
The report contains information on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the ministry's capital projects, as well as highlighting the projects’ expenditure during the same period.
Mutorwa said forest resources are regulated through permits management and law-enforcement operations to ensure compliance.
A total of 16 603 permits were issued, while 87 fines were issued to people illegally in possession of forest products.
The report also highlights that delays in payments of water and electricity bills caused a high loss of trees in the orchards and seedlings in nurseries; whilst expired truck licences hampered the use of those vehicles for soil collection for nurseries, which resulted in low seedling production during the same year.