Maputo — Unknown individuals have been sabotaging the buoys that mark the access channel to the port of Quelimane, in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, according to a Wednesday report on Radio Mozambique.
The Zambezia provincial delegate of the National Hydrography and Shipping Institute (INAHINA), Lucas Antonio, told the radio that from December 2016 to the present14 buoys had been sabotaged in the access channel. The most recent attacks on the buoys took place last week.
11 of the damaged buoys have been put back into service, by replacing the damaged or stolen parts, said Antonio, but the sabotage has been causing constraints for shipping using the port, particularly at night.
Each buoy costs about 900,000 meticais (about 14,750 US dollars, at current exchange rates).
The saboteurs attack the buoys to steal their batteries, lamps and solar panels, leaving just the supporting structure of the buoy floating in the water.
The situation has become dangerous, said Antonio, because INAHINA has run out of spare parts, and can no longer replace the batteries or lamps stolen by the thieves.
The lack of functioning buoys can have serious implications for the port. Antonio pointed out that, if the buoy is not alight, no ship can enter the port at night. “So these thefts have a very serious impact on shipping”, he warned.