Water Development, Environment and Sanitation Minister Llody Kaziya has disclosed that Zambia loses between 250,000 to 300,000 hectares of forest every year due to indiscriminate cutting down of trees.

Speaking at Bole International Airport on arrival from Gabon, Kaziya who is also Matero Member of Parliament said charcoal burning had been listed as the major cause of deforestation in Zambia.

In a statement issued to News Diggers by First Secretary for press and tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza, Kaziya said there was need to fight the scourge as it had negative effects on the environment and climate change.

Kaziya said the country needed to find impactful ways of educating the citizenry about smart sources of energy unlike the use of charcoal.

“There is need for the Ministry of Education to package specific educational messages into the school curriculum so that young people grow up with the culture of not wanting to cut down trees indiscriminately.
Some of the challenges the country is facing such as persistent droughts, are as a result of effects of climate change,” Kaziya said.

The Minister cited the drying of Chongwe River as a problem that had been created by people living along the riverbank.

“My Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that people are not allocated land in wetlands which are sources of water,” he said.

Kaziya who was in Garbon to attend the African Ministerial conference on the environment said he lobbied the Global Environment Facity (GEF) to support programmes meant to improve land conservation and proper water sanitation among others.

“My Ministry has an expanded expectation in the area of water, Sanitation and environment which require heavy investment. I held successful talks with GEF CEO Naoki Ishi,” said Kaziya.

“Some of the resolutions from the meetings include the need to promote the allocation of an adequate percentage of national revenue accruing from natural capital assets for reinvestment in innovative environment solutions.”

The minister, who was transiting from Garbon to Zambia through Ethiopia, was welcomed by Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta.