Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
THE Forestry Commission has arrested 47 illegal firewood and charcoal dealers from six districts in Mashonaland West province since August 2, who have since paid fines amounting to US$1 130 and $176 506.
This was after the provincial forestry managers joined the rest of the nation in an operation against illegal firewood and charcoal operations.
The operation is expected to curb deforestation.
Forestry Commission acting provincial head, Mr Pardon Mukudo, said the blitz had so far been held in Hurungwe, Chegutu, Makonde, Sanyati, Mhondoro-Ngezi and Zvimba districts.
“We are working in conjunction with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife and local authorities,” he said.
Mr Mukudo said a total of 470 bags of charcoal and 47 cubic metres of firewood were recovered.
“We are going to engage the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) to check how roadworthy the vehicles we have impounded are,” he said.
“Most of the vehicles seem not road worthy. We have realised that huge volumes of firewood are used in the curing of bricks as opposed to coal dust.”
The blitz is also to be enforced in Chinhoyi, Mapinga, Kariba and Turf in Mhondoro-Ngezi, which are the hotspot areas for illegal firewood and charcoal dealers.