Hwange Local Board (HLB) yesterday started its land rehabilitation exercise in areas affected by clay soil poaching activities being perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals involved in brick moulding.
The rehabilitation exercise, which is expected to wind up on Saturday is in fulfilment of the local authority’s long standing resolution to curb illegal soil abstraction in its area of jurisdiction.
The local authority was issued with an order by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to rehabilitate the concerned areas not later than 25 September or risk being heavily fined.
HLB took advantage of Government’s “thunder ball” operation meant to protect the country’s wildlife and environment.
The operation, which is being carried out countrywide, is being spearheaded by security services and in Hwange District, the committee is being headed by the Criminal Investigations Department from Zimbabwe Republic Police.
Other committee members are the Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Department of Immigration, Forestry Commission, Hwange Colliery Company Limited, Hwange Rural District Council and HLB.
This committee identified the massive land degradation due to clay soil poaching in the bushy areas of Empumalanga and Don Bosco as a major environmental concern, which needed urgent attention.
The exercise will see the demolition of all the bricks being molded in all undesignated areas.