The Mayombe Forest has been under pressure since the opening in 2011 of Route nationale n°1, which is fully paved along its 601 kilometers between Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville. Among the pressures, it has brought illegal, artisanal sawing. One day, not far from the village of Doumanga, in the District of Mvouti, some 70 kilometers east of Pointe-Noire, in the heart of the mountainous Mayombe, we took the measure of this artisanal tree-felling activity. Whatever one may say, it is a threat to the existence of the forest.
As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund journalism covering underreported issues around the world. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!
Birds fly here and there in the sky or answer each other in the treetops, insects strut in space. All this under a canopy where the air moistened by these giant, secular trees sprinkles nature with a bewitching perfume […]. It is an understatement to say that if paradise has a face, it is in Mayombe that one should come to contemplate it.
But the Edenic atmosphere contrasts with violent humming sounds which are heard in the distance and become more precise as one wanders into the bowels of the forest. And, while creaking as if to express their pain, trees fall loosely, one after the other.