The issue between the Gola Forest Programme and the Bagra hill mining proposal is creating more problems in the Tunkia chiefdom between cross section of the residents in support of those in favour of the mining and those in favour of the Gola Forest Programme
It has been reported that the group in favour of the mining activity have been carrying on some hunting activities in the Gola Forest in the Tunkia Chiefdom wherein some wires used to set trap for the animals have been removed by the forest guards.
Also some snares empty cartridges and power saw have been confiscated.
Speaking to the Forest Management Committee (FMC) Chairman Momoh Mansaray along Dama road in Kenema city in the presence of the Chiefdom speaker Alhaji Sheku, revealed that one Kabbah Massaquoi land owner representative at Tigbema, Ibrahim Gbedewah, Chief Lahai Swaray alias Lahai Kortor, Sheku Sesay and one I.B. all of Tigbema village in the Tunkia chiefdom have allegedly brought in some dissident local hunters from Liberia who are now harbored by them and are carrying on hunting activities in the Gola forest. He said the unarmed forest guards who are usually found in the forest usually run away from these unauthorized hunters.
He alleged that when the result of the Presidential and Parliamentary results were called, one Mohamed Harding Sama came to Tigbema and ordered his people to go into the Gola forest and hunt the animals. Dozens of wire meant for setting traps were purchased in the chiefdom and from Kenema and they entered the Gola forest and engaged in setting the traps saying that nobody is to stop them from hunting in the Gola forest.
In a recent radio talk show at the Eastern Radio in Kenema city, the Protected Area Manager John Moriba disclosed that they are working on modalities to review the Gola forest law with the government so that there will be more protection for the forest guards.
By Saffa Moriba in Kenema