Every year, Amos Chandiringa, 43, a farmer in Nemaire village in Makoni district in northeastern Zimbabwe, laboriously waters his tobacco nursery with a watering can. The toil of the job often leaves him without the energy or time to do other household chores.
African wetlands are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the continent, covering more than 131 million hectares, according to the Senegalese-based Wetlands International Africa (WIA).
Janet Mutoriti (30), a mother of three from St Mary’s suburb in Chitungwiza, 25 kilometres outside Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, frequently risks arrest for straying into the nearby urban forests to fetch wood for cooking.
Zimbabwe has lost 12 billion dollars in illicit financial flows over the last three decades and experts say this illegal practice is perpetuating social inequalities and poverty in this southern African nation.