The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has tightened screws on the importation of hazardous substances as part of the strategies aimed at minimising their use for poaching purposes.

The new regulations require import licences with EMA implementing a tracking system to ascertain  the destination as well as the storage of such substances.

The move has been taken to ensure that the public has no access to substances such as cyanide as they can make use of them in poaching activities.

According to EMA Provincial Manager Matabeleland North Mrs Chipo Mpofu Zuze, the move is based on past experiences which show that cyanide poisoning has become a popular method of poaching during the months of August, September and October in the province.

“Our main concern, however, is the substances which are coming in through undesignated places and we also have a feeling that some hazardous substances are coming in concealed in these trucks omalayitsha (cross border commuters). You just see truck loads coming from South Africa through Beitbridge or Plumtree but what they will be carrying no one knows. But as far as the legal points are concerned, we have a well-crafted process of tracking these substances,” said Mrs Zuze.

The new regulation also requires that the importers submit monthly reports to EMA, specifying the quantities of what they would have brought into the country.

EMA is also working with stakeholders such as ZIMRA to ensure maximum support in their quest to minimise illegal use of hazardous substances.