US$75m lost to veld fires over 3 years

Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE has lost more than US$75 million worth of timber over the past three years to veld fires and may end up importing the product if measures are not taken to stop the fires, legislators heard last week. Environmental Management Agency director Mrs Mutsa Chasi said what was compounding the situation was that sentences were not deterrent enough for offenders of environmental crimes.

She said this while addressing a joint portfolio committee of Mines and Energy and Environment and Natural Resources workshop aimed at familiarising legislators on their role with regard to environmental related issues.

The seminar had been organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association.
“The country is losing US$75 million worth of timber to these veld fires and if they go unchecked for the next five years, Zimbabwe will end up importing timber for its manufacturing and construction requirements,” said Mrs Chasi.

She said the situation was equally bad in hospitals with respect to waste disposal as about 90 percent of health institutions in the country did not have incinerators that were working.

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