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Timber ban depriving us of incomes – traders

ILLEGAL TIMBER

By CLIFF PHIRI
TIMBER merchants in Kaoma have complained about Government’s ban on timber trade, saying the move was adversely affecting incomes in the district.
The traders, led by Muti Chihili and Mike Lombe, said Kaoma should be exempt from the ban because the district does not have the mukula tree – the hardwood which prompted the government to restrict the business.
The timber traders claimed that they only harvest rosewood and mukwa – arguing that these species were not threatened with extinction like the mukula tree which is mainly found in Central, Eastern, Muchinga, Northern, North-Western, Luapula, Lusaka and Western provinces.
He said the ban on timber trading had negatively impacted on their livelihood because wood business was their only source of revenue.
Mr Chihili said the misery has been extended to the rest of the community in the area as on average every timber trader was employing 17 people all of whom lost their jobs.
He said the timber traders had created employment for the locals, adding that the villagers who were empowered by the hardwood business were now without a source of income. – ZANIS.






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