Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chinese and Chipata Chipper

The Chinese want hardwood for export and sleepers for a new railway line between Chipata and Malawi.They want 3000 trees in Nsefu, 3000 in Kakumbi and 21,000 in Nsefu. It's all illegal. The Chairlady of the MMD in Chipata, Mrs Mbewe is the middle person in Jumbe. She has got the local people to get the licences and cut the trees, though she is paying for them which is illegal as they are supposed to be for local use only. 150 have been cut already and most if not all ferried out on lorries.

The Forestry Officer in Mambwe (Musiwa) is in on it, as is Chief Jumbe. All further licences have been suspended while an investigation goes ahead. ZAWA are dead against it. Cutters have now been forced to apply for a pit saw licence (min 40, max 60 trees a month!). This will give everyone (Forestry, ZAWA, Environmental Council of Zambia and other stakeholders) chance to have their say and it will then be refused or curtailed.

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