Local firm embarks on countering deforestation

A ZAMBIAN company has embarked on a programme to sensitise and encourage the use of coal briquettes for domestic and industrial applications to counter deforestation.
The briquettes which are 100 percent environmentally-friendly, bio-degradable and packaged in eco-friendly packaging are produced by Green Cycle Limited.
In an interview, Green Cycle Limited consultant Godfrey Mufaya said restaurant owners in various markets in Lusaka have been urged to use briquettes and moved away from lumpwood charcoal.
Currently, the project is in its pilot stage with the aim to broaden the use of the briquettes through restaurant owners and marketeers in areas where heavy use of lumpwood charcoal from the Zambian forests are being sold such as City, Town centre and Chawama markets.
The briquettes branded Pyro Charcoal Briquettes have also been embraced by poultry companies like Zambeef Products, Hybrid and Ross Breeders among others.
Mr Mufaya said there is urgent need than before for serious sensitisation on the protection of the environment through such products.
“We are encouraging small-scale consumers to use briquettes to save our trees. The rate at which our forests are being depleted is alarming,” he said.
So far, the response from users of briquettes including from household level is good.
He said the company needs to be fully automated to meet the increasing demand.
Mr Mufaya also appealed for Government support through value added tax (VAT) rebate. “Then, we can bring machinery, increase production and then sell the products cheaply.”
Meanwhile, the company which intends to venture into the usage of various solid fuel blends for industrial use has also introduced briquettes in leading supermarkets such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite and Melissa among others.
The use of charcoal has been a source of concern by many environmentalists who have expressed fear at the high rate at which trees are being cut.
ZANIS, Lusaka.

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