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SIERRA LEONE - An American-based; N.B. Investment Company intends to open up job opportunities and other benefits for Communities around the Loma Mountains in the Koinadugu District, Northern Province of Sierra Leone.

The purpose of this project is to help conserve the Loma Mountains that is gradually deteriorating as a result of the serious deforestation of the Mountain, decimation of animals and other vital resources by the communities there in quest of eking out their livelihood.

Addressing the beneficiary communities at the Nieni and Neya Chiefdoms, Koinadugu District, Dr. Aloysius Joe - Jackson, Country Representative of the NB Investment said that the Company will establish a viable Eco - tourism industry and undertake the construction and improvement of their road network which will facilitate trade with their neighbours and beyond. This, he further disclosed will not only help to create job opportunities that will improve on their living condition but also reduce their heavy dependence on the Loma Mountain Forest.

Mr. Sheku Mansaray of the National Commission for the Environment and Forestry who was part of the delegation, dilated on the importance of preserving the Mountain and its Forest, together with other available resources adding, “Saving it is a way of caring for the needs of the present and succeeding generations.”

While the Communities expressed appreciation for the initiative they chose as their priority the construction of their road network system. “Our poor road network has continued to deprive us of vital and needed development programmes”, the Paramount Chief of Neya Chiefdom noted.

While the NB Investment Company has had initial discussions with the Government of Sierra Leone on the preservation of the Loma Mountain and its resources, it is providing the government on its findings and the understanding reached with the communities.

It will be recalled that in 1972 the Sierra Leone Government declared the Loma Mountain a non-hunting reserve. Because of the lack of viable livelihood of the communities living around the Mountain, it has been extremely difficult to enforce this declaration.
category:  politique agricole
author:  Mohamed A. Conteh
subregion : 
date:  26 May '07

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