Masimba ‘replacing’ destroyed trees along Beitbridge Rd

Upenyu Chaota

Big infrastructural projects among them the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Harare-Beitbridge highway have come at an environmental cost including the destruction of many trees.

The cutting down of trees deprives the atmosphere of important carbon sinks which help to remove some of the greenhouse gasses that warm the globe.

Masimba Construction Company, which is one of the many contractors awarded tenders to work on the Harare-Beitbridge highway, said it has so far planted over 500 trees to replace those that were destroyed.

Thomas Mapangudze, an official from Masimba Construction Company, told EnviroPress that the company’s efforts were an attempt to reclaim areas that experience the worst destruction of trees.

“We are aware that we have to protect the environment and in return the environment will take care of us. This is why we have already set in motion a plan to replace trees that would have been destroyed during road construction.

“In some cases, the destruction of tress is inevitable hence the need to take note and replace them in extreme cases.

“So far we have planted 500 trees and the programme continues in all our areas of operation. We are also planting trees as a way of reclaiming the gravel pits we would have exploited,” said Engineer Mapangudze.

The Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira called on the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) as well as the Forestry Commission to make sure that the environment and trees were protected during all development initiatives.

“We have institutions whose sole responsibility is to guard and protect the environment and we call on them to be on the lookout because we do not want a situation where we gain one and lose the other,” said Chadzamira.

Environmental and climate change researcher Anna Brazier applauded Masimba Construction Company for their trees programme but said they should aim higher numbers.

“500 trees is a good start but 5 000 would be better,” said Brazier.