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Fact Finding – Usu Boie visits massive timber investment company in Sierra Leone

Fact Finding – Usu Boie visits massive timber investment company in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Timber Exporters and Processing Factory is a $1.5 million indigenous investment being established in this country by a Sierra Leonean named Alie Suma who has been dealing in timber for several years.

The massive factory which is being established at Waterloo will be producing and processing timber to manufacture various types of furniture to an international standard using sophisticated imported machinery.

Through the help of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Honorable Alhaji Usu Boie Kamara, the factory, in March this year, obtained license to operate and has already employed 210 workers among them 50 women, all of whom have been trained to operate the sophisticated machines which the factory is in the process of installing and will soon start operations.

On Monday, April 8, the Trade Minister and his team visited the factory at Manor Corner, Waterloo, Western Rural, on a fact finding mission to ascertain whether it is being established in consonance with the agreement it signed with the Government of Sierra Leone.

Speaking at the factory site, Honorable Boie Kamara expressed tremendous joy to see President Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ coming to realization as evidenced by the establishment of such a big industry by a Sierra Leonean investor.

The Trade Minister said he was particularly impressed by the factory’s motto, “Cut One, Plant Five”, which he described as very appropriate and a pointer to the fact that it has not come to ruin the forests of this nation. He encouraged the workers to work in harmony with the investor and to be very honest in the discharge of their duties, calling on all of them to be watchdogs and expose any worker engaged in fraudulent activities that can hinder the progress of the factory. He admitted that he was overwhelmed with delight to see women actively participating in the work of the industry and urged the proprietor to employ more women to ensure a speedy growth of the industry.

“I am always happy to see Sierra Leonean women actively participating in nation building and I believe they can do better if given the opportunity,” Boie stressed.

Responding to comments, Proprietor and Managing Director, Alie Suma expressed pride and joy to see smiles on the faces of the workers, especially the women. He extended special thanks to Honorable Usu Boie Kamara for the pivotal role he played in making the establishment of the industry a success, especially regarding the acquisition of their license.

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  • Where would all the timber for a “massive investment” be coming from? What is going on? Should we say this move signatures the end of the very last forests left in the country?

    I have often been horrified when people think that simply planting trees is what would address the incalculable environmental challenges associated with ill-fated deforestation activities in forestry. It is also horrifying to note that for decades, the slogan “cut one, plant…” has dominated our forestry management paradigm. As a Forest Scientist, i wish to caution that, the latter is not necessarily grounded in sound science. If any thing, it is a model only workable in places where LAW AND ORDER is LAW AND ORDER. Many of my readers would agree with me that our country is grappling with efficacious law and order systems against the backdrop of enduring political cronyism and “u kno udat arbism”. Moreover, most of the time, the tree species planted may not be appropriate to mimicking the ecological requirements of former deforested forests. It is simply an ecological and biodiversity disaster to think that planting for planting sake would address forestry needs. Are we not talking about the Upper Guinea Forest here??

    Now is the time for Sierra Leone to STOP any industrial timber export business. One cannot give what he/she does not have. Suggestions:

    1. Government MUST maintain a moratorium on timber export. The last time i checked, there was enough timber in the market to satisfy our domestic needs. So why go international? I personally thin that, the timber and forestry industry is not sufficiently organized at this juncture to embark on “massive investment” ventures.
    2. The timber Industry should be under the strictest possible regulation in terms of quota and number of persons/groups incensed to operate in it. The last time i checked, the export side of things was largely dominated by a few powerful individuals who apparently have invested “millions” of dollars in the business as well as countless private loggers with power saws who are indiscriminately felling trees as a business. Meaning, if they are to realize any profit (which is what business is largely about), Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans should just say goodbye to the last remaining forests. Should the forests go, might we not be courting unprecedented ecological and social problems?
    3. Any investment in the industry should be maintained at the artisan level until the institutions responsible for regulation are re-invented. (i.e., kindly refer to the point inter alia about law and order. Additionally, the department of forestry/NRM should enjoy a proportionate “massive” human, financial, institutional and infrastructural investment before we can begin to contemplate “massive” investment in timber in Sierra Leone.In the absence of the above, any so-called massive investment in timber would be a short-sighted measure policy-wise.

    Just my opinion!

    10th April 2013
  • Fact Finding – Usu Boie visits massive timber investment company in Sierra Leone: On Monday, April 8, the Trad… http://t.co/ulxOWw7Iaf

    10th April 2013

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