Jun 11, 2019
Victor Chenda Mpanga, 39, knows his livelihood depends on the forest, but like many others eking out a living in Zambia’s vast woodland, he had little choice but to help destroy it. Mpanga was a full-time farmer, but poor yields due to unsustainable agricultural practices and climate change forced him into cutting down trees to produce charcoal – locally known as “malasha” - for fuel and income.
“I have seen my village turning into a grassland instead of forest. The trees are fast vanishing from the forest. The rainfall pattern has changed,” Mpanga complains.
Poor rainfall in this area makes farming chancy. For the father of three, turning trees into charcoal was an option of last resort to make ends meet.