MAWF re-emphasises timber harvesting and transportation conditions

MAWF re-emphasises timber harvesting and transportation conditions
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The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) has re-emphasised that no fresh timber will be harvested until the already harvested timber is marketed and sold both internationally and locally.
This was contained in a media statement availed to the media on Monday by the ministry’s public relations department, re-emphasising the conditions set by Cabinet regarding the already harvested timber lying in farms in the North-Eastern part of the country.
The statement said Cabinet deliberated on the timber issue during the week of 3 to 6 December 2019, where it took note that there is a significant quantity of already harvested timber in Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi Regions.
“It has come to the attention of the ministry, mostly through print and electronic media, that the timber issue is still attracting huge interest and it is widely discussed. The ministry has further established that there are still some questions as far as timber harvesting, transport and marketing are concerned,” reads the statement.
It said, among other conditions, the ministry re-emphasises that no new or fresh timber will be harvested and local timber processors should be given first preferences to buy ahead of foreign processors.
In addition, it said that no timber should be transported during night time in the regions and all timber should be loaded in truck containers in the presence of MAWF officials.
MAWF, in conjunction with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Namibian Police Force and custom officials, had put measures in place to operationalise the task at hand as directed by Cabinet.
Thus, the statement said that a team of 17 staff members were deployed to the regions and at checkpoints such as Mururani, Bravo and Mpungu roadblocks through which timber is being transported from the North Eastern Regions and the team has been working around the clock to ensure that all procedures are followed as per the given guidelines.
“Due to the past holiday season, the team was on a break as from the 20 December 2019 and resumed the operations on 13 January 2020. However, there [was] no Namibian timber moving during the said holiday period as the ministerial staff members that operate at various strategic roadblocks have been on duty throughout,” reads the statement.