Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
RURAL Beitbridge faces a critical shortage of pastures due to climate change, perennial droughts and the rampant cutting down of trees by firewood poachers.
Communities in villages surrounding Beitbridge town like Malala, Mtetengwe, Makakhavhule, Mapayi, Mawale, Lutumba and Chamnanga have since approached the police and their legislator for assistance.
They accuse the illegal firewood vendors mainly from Beitbridge urban of cutting down fresh mopane trees, which are dominant in the district.
The Herald understands that a cartload of firewood costs something between R100 and R200.
Beitbridge East legislator Cde Albert Nguluvhe yesterday said he would engage the two local authorities, the police, business community, Forestry Commission and the Environmental Management Agency for lasting solution to the problem.
“I have a special appeal to all stakeholders and some of whom I will be engaging over the rampant cutting down of trees,” said Cde Nguluvhe.
“I acknowledge the challenges some people are facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but we need be alive to the effects of such actions. It takes ages for a mopane tree to reach maturity. “The level of deforestation happening in places like Makakhavhule, Chamnanga, Malala, Mtetengwe, Mapayi, Lutumba and Shabwe among others is unacceptable,” said Cde Nguluvhe.
Headman Mabidi (Mina Mbedzi) of Mtetengwe said recently that there was a need for both the rural and town councils to partner communities to enforce environmental laws.