Traditional and community leaders in Mutorashanga, Zvimba District, have raised a red flag over the wanton destruction of forests by wood poachers who find their market mainly in Harare.

The problem is being worsened by illegal settlers numbering thousands around numerous farms.

Zvimba Ward 15 Councilor, Idah Kamushinda is on a drive to promote aforestation through tree planting programmes targeting schools and communities.

A report by the Zvimba District Environmental Officer indicates a bad fire record for the district which lost over 92 000 hectares of forests to veld fires last year.

Chief Beperere, whose jurisdiction also covers Mutorashanga, underscored the importance of natural resources such as trees in sustaining human and animal life.

The community initiative kicked off with a tree planting programme at Chrome Primary School in Mutorashanga.