Illegal loggers invade Kabompo forest reserve

Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000

By BENNIE MUNDANDO
ILLEGAL loggers have invaded the 114, 000 hectare Kabompo Forest Reserve where they are indiscriminately cutting down trees for timber.
Officials from the district forestry office and Zambia National Association of Sawmillers (ZNAS) last week impounded one truck loaded with illegally harvested logs worth K100, 000 at market price.
Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, ZNAS president William Bwalya said following a tip-off, the association released a vehicle which ferried officials from the Forestry Department and the association and that what they found was worrying.
Mr. Bwalya said without immediate intervention from Government, the forest in the reserve risked getting depleted as there were rampant illegal activities going on where trees were cut indiscriminately.
“We went into the Kabompo forest reserve and we found rampant activities of illegal logging where people are using the outlet of Manyinga where they are being given documents for the contraband which they are getting in Kabompo.
“Manyinga has proved to be a vulnerable area which we feel the Forestry Department must protect. The challenge that the district forestry office in Kabompo has is that it doesn’t even have a vehicle to patrol over such a big area covering both sides of the Kabompo River,” Mr. Bwalya said.
He appealed to Governmnet to use proceeds from the sale of confiscated Mukula logs to buy vehicles for district forestry officers for areas like Kabompo to save the forests from illegal activities.

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