BEATRICE, Zimbabwe 

In Beatrice, a farming community on the outskirts of the Zimbabwean capital Harare, a convoy of medium-sized trucks were parked on a roadside with men felling trees for firewood.

They were apparently ebullient about their money-making venture.

Among the wood poachers was 36-year-old Tamirira Gumbo, who said firewood has come in handy to provide alternative energy source, owing to daily power outages of up to 18 hours across the country.

According to the country’s Forestry Commission, Zimbabwe needs 9 to 11 million tons of firewood each year for domestic cooking and heating, and 1.4 million tons for tobacco

Read more: Forests in Zimbabwe ‘under siege’ amid electricity woes