VILLAGERS in Gwanda district, Matabeleland South province, have called on government officials to intervene and stop the rampant cutting down of trees by mopane caterpillar harvesters.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The villagers expressed fear that the destruction of vegetation, if left uncontrolled, might cause massive deforestration.
They alleged people from outside the district were the major culprits in cutting down trees.
“We have a problem with people who are coming from other areas outside Gwanda because they are cutting down trees in a bid to harvest caterpillars. This is bad because our area can be turned into a desert within a short space of time,” Ntandoyenkosi Maphosa, a Gwanda villager said.
Gwanda provincial forestry extension manager, Bekezela Tshuma, confirmed receiving the reports from disgruntled villagers.
“We got such reports as Forestry Commission and we warn people against cutting down trees. However, the situation is not that bad,” he said.
Chief Mbiko Masuku said the practice was rampant along the Gwanda-Bulawayo Road.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
A Bulawayo-based environmental-social protection organisation, Green Action Trust, recently warned that Matabeleland South risked becoming a desert if the issue remained unresolved.