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About 4,000 residents of the Gorongosa National Park buffer zone in Sofala province are refusing to leave their areas to make way for a tourist resort.
According to farmers living in the area, three public consultations have been held, but the population still refuses to leave the area, which they consider their patrimony. In a message to President Nyusi, who visited the district last week, the inhabitants made it clear that they would never give up their land to investors, because it was part of their life and history.
According to the farmers, this is the only lands suitable for farming in the district, and they also believe that Gorongosa National Park is acting in bad faith by allegedly allowing trucks to enter the area to transport limestone, the raw material for the production of cement.
The same farmers last year claimed that Gorongosa National Park was limiting their production areas. Local people have been felling trees and burning vegetation in order to plant crops, a practice much disliked by the foundation managing Gorongosa.
The farmers living in the Gorongosa mountain complained to the president that the government was allowing “foreigners to try to rule” their territory.
“There was a community consultation three times, and we denied it. Why did they continue to insist on the same subject?” they asked. President Nyusi said that the government made decisions with the future in mind and in this case, the idea was to build schools and hospitals for the population living in the mountainous areas. President Nyusi said that the government was also concerned about the progressive destruction of natural resources in the region.
“This whole mountain range is very important to the ecosystem. With the destruction that is occurring, we could run out of water any day,” he said.
The president said that the government would find a way to solve the problem, but there was a need to advance the Park project. “Everything is business, and we have to cherish those who are interested in investing while we find a way out of these problems,” he said.
By José JecoSource: Canalmoz
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