THE wanton cutting down of indigenous trees surrounding Bangaazani Dam in Chipinge District for charcoal harvesting is threatening the town’s water supply.
Bangaazani Dam supplies water to Chipinge Town Council.
The local authority has on several occasions engaged villagers in the surrounding communities to find ways of addressing the problem, but to no avail.
In an interview with The Manica Post, Chipinge District Forest Commission officer, Mr Robbonson Toronga, said the situation requires emergency attention.
“People dealing in charcoal have created a serious problem. Their activities whereby they cut down trees around the dam has resulted in deforestation. This leads to increased soil erosion and eventually siltation in the dam.
“The water then becomes contaminated and sometimes unusable for domestic purposes. We need to come together and find ways of solving this problem as a matter of urgency,” said Mr Toronga.
He said siltation also causes flooding and water pollution which affects aquatic life.
He added that if the deforestation continues, it may lead to the extinction of indigenous trees in the area.
Mr Toronga also discouraged people from carrying out any agricultural practices on the banks of the dam.