Maputo — The Mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, has sacked the head of the Nhangau administrative post, on the outskirts of the city, Ines Amade, for devastating a local mangrove forest.
According to a report in the Beira daily, “Diario de Mocambique”, Amade had hired a group of workers to cut a road through the Njalane mangrove forest in order to ensure access to a patch of land on the beach to which she has the title, and where she intended to build a house.
Film of the damage broadcast by the independent television station STV showed an ugly scar running through the mangroves to the beach.
According to the Beira Councillor for Institutional development, Jose Manuel Moises, when the Council became aware of this environmental crime, it stripped Amade of her licence to build a house at Njalane.
Before taking that decision, Simango personally visited Njalane, and found that a strip of land 300 metres long and five metres wide had been deforested. The Council concluded that Amade's actions violated the Council's policy on protecting the mangrove ecosystem.
Simango then sacked Amade. “She's been dismissed”, said Moises, “because this is a practice that endangers the environment, and does not meet the goals of our municipal institution. We all know that mangroves are a protected species”.
Amade had not bothered to inform the Council that he wanted a road in Njalane. She should have put in a request both to the Council and to the Sofala Provincial Directorate of Land, Environment and Rural Development.
Amade's attack on the mangrove forest was first denounced by Alberto Santos, a member of the Nhangau Natural Resource Management Committee, who noted that four species of mangrove tree had been cut down to make way for the road.
This Committee also accused Amade of responsibility for setting uncontrolled bush fires that wiped out 320 eucalyptus and casuarina trees.