Enviro Watch in drive to reduce firewood consumption

16 Aug, 2021 - 00:08 0 Views
Enviro Watch in drive to reduce firewood consumption file pic

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
A LOCAL community organisation has launched an environment conservation project where it is distributing less firewood consuming stoves to households.

Vic Falls Enviro Watch’s motive is to reduce cutting down of trees for firewood and use of open fire in the household. It gave 15 rocket stoves to Siyazama Women’s Group in Victoria Falls as a pilot project which will be rolled out to the whole city if successful.

This comes in the wake of a suspension of issuing of permits to sell firewood and the national blitz against illegal firewood and charcoal dealers by the Forestry Commission.

There have been concerns about massive cutting down of trees in and around Victoria Falls by residents for firewood.

A majority of them come from some parts of Mkhosana, Chinotimba, Aerodrome and CBZ stands that have no electricity.

Fifteen women who are members of Siyazama Women’s Group were given rocket stoves on Saturday as a pilot project.

A rocket stove is made of a four-dimensional hollow pipe with three openings, one being an inlet for firewood, the other is a fire outlet on which the plate is mounted, and a breather at the bottom.

The stove uses twigs and chips from wood hence consumes three times less firewood than an open fire.

Vic Falls Enviro Watch made the stoves which are being given free of charge as a pilot project.

The organisation’s chairperson Mr Tony Peel said their motive is to reduce cutting down of trees and use of open fire at home.

“We are concerned about unsustainable developments in Victoria Falls and so we decided to come up with these rocket stoves which are generally three times effective than open fire and use limited energy but with high output.

This is a pilot project which we will be monitoring and once it’s effective we will roll it out to the whole town,” said Mr Peel.

He said the concept will be spread countrywide if it proves to be a success with the aim of reducing deforestation across the country.

Vic Falls Enviro Watch has also erected wildlife related road signs along the Victoria Falls-Kazungula road to prevent accidents caused by wildlife.Victoria Falls ward 11 councillor Edmore Zhou who helped in the formation of Siyazama Women’s Group said members will be assisted in getting firewood from the Forestry Commission.

‘We are negotiating with Forestry Commission so that club members can have access to firewood. The beauty about this stove is that it uses very little firewood meaning you won’t have to endanger your lives going into the wildlife infested bush. The council will soon be raiding firewood dealers and you will be safe,” he said.

Siyazama chairperson Mrs Ketani Phiri said: “Most of us have been arrested and encountered wild animals in the bush. We fetch firewood all year round except for the rainy season when the bush will be thick. So, we sat down and thought of having something sustainable hence we came up with the idea of this club. We want to try this stove and we hope it will work well so we don’t frequent the bush.”

Most houses in Victoria Falls have heaps of firewood which they poach from the surrounding bush. — @ncubeleon

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