Forestry officials confiscate illegally harvested wood

14 Sep 2015 08:50am
ONHUNO, 14 SEP (NAMPA) – Forestry Directorate officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry on Friday confiscated illegally harvested wood poles at the Onhuno police roadblock in the Ohangwena Region.
The ministry’s local senior forestry technician, Abel Aushona on Sunday confirmed the confiscation in a telephonic interview with Nampa from Eenhana.
The culprit in the matter was fined, although the fine was only N.dollars 300.
Aushona said the wood was harvested at Mukekete in the Kavango West Region without a permit from the Forestry Directorate.
The confiscation followed a tip-off from employees of the ministry’s Directorate of Veterinary Services who are in charge of foot and mouth disease control at the Onhuno roadblock.
Some 2 000 poles were found loaded in a truck, while the culprit was only granted permission to harvest and transport 150 poles for business purposes in northern Namibia.
According to Aushona, the confiscated poles are now going to be placed on public auction by the Ministry of Works and Transport which is mandated to administer government auctions.
He went on to say the illegal harvesting of wood is common in the area, adding that people are not honest with village headmen and the Forestry Directorate offices, where permits are issued for the harvesting and transporting of wood.
“People are cheating the system by harvesting more than the authorised amount because they know they are not followed to where they go to harvest. They take advantage of the shortage of human and material resources we face,” Aushona noted.
Mukekete is situated in the Kavango West Region, some six kilometres from the Ohangwena-Kavango West regions’ borderline.