Our return from SA was rewarded with an immediate problem at the coast. What at first sounded like theft has turned out, it seems, to be sabotage.

Reports from our camp at the Larde River came that someone had taken the fuel pump cables from the boat, the same boat that we have just had repaired. The questions we began to ask ourselves was who would have stolen these things and why did nobody see anything? Our staff denied any involvement but in such a small community such as the one at Larde and Topuito, it is hard to believe that nobody would know anything.

So, we drove off to the coast with these questions in mind, ready to get to the bottom of this latest, and strangest, theft. We were also ready to be on the lookout for someone with a new boat with working engines, most of the river transport in those parts being pole operated lanchas.

On arrival we see that while the pumps have in fact been taken, they seem to have been chewed off.  We start thinking about who could possibly do this and what use would these things be to someone without a boat engine and after some discussion with our staff, who claim they know of noone who would have done this, we decide this looks more deliberate than chance. The question we now have to ask ourselves is who wants to sabotage our operations…

The pumps are a minor setback. It means we can’t go to the islands this weekend. It means that we have some staff stuck on the islands a few days longer than their two week shift and it means a trip to Nacala to try and find the parts. But the only lasting effect it has is that we are now wary that there are still some people out there who have false beliefs about our project and what it means for them. Where a project like ours could mean jobs, income and sustainable development for the local communities, some still want to believe it means loss of territory, loss of income and competition.

This is just one of the challenges facing us in the build up to implementing this project. There are plenty more, each one as exciting and challenging as the next. The goal is to see how many we can resolve, the exciting part is seeing what those resolutions are and what their effect will be!

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