MINISTER of Technology and Science Felix Mutati says government plans on setting up a green charcoal industry in Chikankata district in an effort to promote the use of renewable energies in Zambia such as Charcoal Briquettes.

And his green economy counterpart Collins Nzovu has pledged his ministry’s commitment to supporting green technologies which protect the environment.

Speaking when he launched the Chikankata Charcoal briquettes, Thursday, Mutati said government wanted to use Chikankata to demonstrate that deforestation could be reversed.

(A Charcoal briquette uses agriculture waste to create energy that can be used for cooking and other purposes).

“What this government is doing is taking a practical position to rebuild the economy to take investment to the people. Bringing this investment here in Chiakankata to the people of Zambia, our objective is beyond creating jobs for our youths who are going to be collecting agriculture waste. Our objective is to better the lives of the people of Chikakanta. Our ultimate objective is that on the streets of Chinkankata in a few months, we should only see green charcoal and not just any form of charcoal. Let Chikankata be the place where we demonstrate that we can reverse deforestation in this country. So we leave with one commitment with my colleague in the green economy that the two of us are going to work like siamese twins connected at the hip to be able to deliver here in Chikanakata that industry which is going to be called Green Charcoal Industry born in Chikankata, empowered in Chikankata but will change not only the face of Southern Province but Zambia. It will be your trademark,” Mutati said.

“It is my hope and government’s expectation that the technologies being handed over today will positively impact the receiving communities and better the livelihoods of all.”

And speaking at the same event, Nzovu said his ministry would support green technologies which protect the environment.

“My ministry will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Technology and Science and in ventures that promote green technologies and protect our environment. I am pleased to note that once this project is implemented, it will discourage the cutting down of trees and encourage the use of agricultural wastes which otherwise are burnt and contribute to emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I am happy to also note that the communities would be able to use this technology and make charcoal. I am highly delighted to be part of this programme where you are officially launching this project on charcoal briquette for Chikankata Secondary School and communities within Namweembo. The new dawn government of His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema established the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to support interventions like this one that promotes green technologies and thus mitigate effects of climate change,” said Nzovu.

Meanwhile, National Technology Business Centre Executive Director Chitundu Kasase said as the initiator of the project, his organisation would train those who received the green charcoal machines during the launch.

“Our engineers will come back to install this. And besides, the installation TBC will equally train the beneficiaries on operation and maintenance of equipment. We will also train them in business management. The green charcoal production will commence in April 2022 when the communities have mobilised the agricultural waste which will act as raw material to make the charcoal,” said Kasase.