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Minister Nzovu Calls for Sustainable Practices, Warns Against Charcoal Burning

The Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Hon. Eng. Collins Nzovu, has emphasized the importance of national resources benefiting local communities. 

He made these remarks during a meeting with the Western Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mongu on Sunday, April 14th, 2024.

Minister Nzovu highlighted the detrimental effects of unsustainable practices, particularly charcoal burning, on the environment. 

He warned of a complete ban on charcoal production in areas with depleted tree cover, citing the destructive shift towards cutting down smaller trees to meet charcoal demands.

“We are in a climate crisis,” Minister Nzovu stressed. “Water, a vital resource for Western Province, is rapidly disappearing. Even traditional ceremonies like Kuomboka are impacted by changing water levels, forcing route alterations.”

The Minister emphasized the need to preserve forests and explore alternative energy sources. 

He challenged the Western Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry to embrace solar power and reduce reliance on the national grid.

Minister Nzovu painted a stark picture of potential desertification in Southern, Central, Eastern, and Western Provinces if deforestation continues unchecked.

“To enforce the Forest Act and environmental regulations,” he declared, “the Ministry will intensify roadblocks nationwide. We will crack down on charcoal burners. This warning extends across the country, and roadblocks will be set up on all major roads leading to Lusaka, Mongu, and the capital.”

Minister Nzovu proposed farming as a viable alternative livelihood for those currently involved in charcoal production.

The Kuomboka Kufuluhela Management Committee Chairperson, Induna Luyanga, echoed the Minister’s concerns. 

He acknowledged the impact of climate change on the Barotse Royal Establishment and the entire Western Province community, evidenced by the altered Kuomboka ceremony route.

Induna Luyanga expressed Western Province’s commitment to finding solutions to climate change’s negative effects.

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