-Lands, Natural resources and Environment Minister Wilbur Simusa says government will this year call for a national indaba to discuss charcoal burning in Zambia in relation to deforestation and its effects.
Mr. Simusa said charcoal burning is one complex issue that needs to be handled carefully adding that while it has negative impacts on the environment others use it for economic sustenance.
He said charcoal despite its negative effects on the environment has been the biggest economic driving force to those dependant to it.
The Minister observed in an interview with ZANIS that charcoal burning has proved to be an activity that has lead to the formation of many deserts in Africa.
Mr Simusa added that burning charcoal burning cannot be the best option but that other ways of controlling the activity can be found.
Mr. Simusa observed that it is unfortunate that government does not get any revenue from this activity despite its effects posed on the social and economic status of the country.
He noted that charcoal burning has for a long time been a contributing factor to food security adding that because of its effects posed on the ozone layer society has been receiving unpredictable weather patterns that affect crops and vegetation.
He further stressed that there is need for Zambia to adopt other methods of farming which will see the country moving away from the system of cutting trees on a large scale whenever people want to carry out farming activities.
Mr Simusa observed since the introduction of ZESCO prepaid metering system many people have resorted to using charcoal in order to save electricity.
He said government wishes to see a continued culture of restocking the forests through its project of tree planting which was launched last year.
The Minister stated that Zambians should strengthen the culture of forest and tree preservation adding that trees are one way in which God structured his way of cleaning up the environmental emissions which are harmful to human.
FODEP hails govt over Livingstone suspension
FODEP chairperson Gideon Musonda said the decision will enhance unity at the council and also contribute to the successful hosting of the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) general conference.
Local Government and Housing Minister Emmerine Kabanshi announced the decision to lift the suspension of the Livingstone city council yesterday.
And Mr. Musonda told ZANIS today that FODEP was among the organizations that had appealed to government to consider lifting the six months suspension of Livingstone city council ahead of the UNWTO conference.
He said it was gratifying that the appeal was considered as it will improve service delivery and better the operations of the council while improving the living standards of the people of Livingstone.
Mr. Musonda has since implored the reinstated councillors to bury their past differences and focus on service delivery.
He urged the councillors to remain focused on the current main agenda of the country which are the preparations towards the successful hosting of the UNWTO general conference to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Mr. Musonda expressed hope that the ongoing seven days joint mandatory re-orientation program being held in the district will enhance understanding on the councillor’s role of policy makers.
He furthered hoped that the meeting will also outline the general operations, rules and regulations of the local government system, principles of collective responsibility, harmony and co- existence between councillors and management.
The FODEP chairperson also urged political parties and the people of Livingstone to continue exhibiting unity of purpose regarding preparations and hosting of the UNWTO general conference.