No timber harvested or transported over the holiday period -Ministry
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry said no local timber was harvested or transported during the holiday period due to strict measures put in place.
Due to raw timber exports being illegal, and result in huge financial loss, the Agriculture Ministry in conjunction with other stakeholders such Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Nampol and Customs officials have put measures in place to monitor timber exports as directed by Cabinet in December 2019.
A team of 17 staff members has been deployed to the regions and at the check points (Mururani, Buravo and Mpungu Vlei road blocks), as a significant quantity of already harvested timber is transported from the North Eastern Regions, the ministry said.
Jona Musheko, spokesperson of the Agriculture Ministry said in the meantime, the timber on transit from the neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo has been authorised to move from those countries of origin to Walvis Bay harbour.
The in-transit timber is closely monitored when it enters Namibia until Walvis Bay, he added.
“Among other conditions, the Ministry of Agriculture would like to re-emphasise that no new/ fresh timber will be harvested; local timber processors should be given first preferences (to buy) before the outsiders are given a chance to buy the timber; no timber should be transported night time in the regions; and all timber should be loaded in truck containers in the presence of the ministry’s officials,” Musheko said.