The officials of the Gola Forest Programme (GFP) from their Dama road office have held a sensitization meeting with members of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) at the garage hall at the Regional police Divisional headquarter in Kenema city.
Among the visiting team from the Gola Forest Office were the Training Coordinator of the Programme Andrew Ansu Fatorma the Protected Area Manager John Moriba and Daniel Turay the education and sensitization coordinator of the Gola Forest Conservation programme.
In his welcome address the support officer Kenema police division Patrick Kpaka thanked the members of the Gola Forest Programme for their concern.
Mr. Tucker described their role as important and assured the Gola Forest program officials of police continued support at all time.
In his presentation the education and sensitization officer Daniel Turay explained the need to be abreast with the law enforcing agencies in the country about the importance of the Gola Forest Programme.
He said the meeting will go a long way in helping the police to protect the forest from intruders and prosecute law breakers.
Mr. Turay informed the police that Gola Forest is an NGO consisting of the government of Sierra Leone, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone, saying that these bodies are for the protection of the Gola Forest.
He disclosed that the Gola Forest Operation is divided into blocks in the West, South, East and North which have the largest conservation forest in the country.
Mr. Turay disclosed that Leopards have been found in the Gola Forest Conservation in the Northern region.
He therefore encouraged all and sundry to refrain from destroying their habitat, adding that the Gola Forest is the largest area of upper rain forest in Sierra Leone which is about 750 meter square and are regarded as the hot spot and important endemic bird area.
Daniel Turay said that 274 birds’ species were named in 1990 of which 14 of these species are of Global Conservation. Mr. Turay said that there is an urgent need to protect and conserve the Gola Forest.
The Area Protected Manager for the Gola Forest Conservation Programme John Moriba disclosed that the aim of the project is to develop the forest into a national park which will be of economic importance to the country.
He unearthed plans to set up a Trust Fund in a Bank and the interest accrued will be used to support the project.
He disclosed that the Gola Forest Programme was supporting the community people in different ways including awarding of scholarships to deserving students in Secondary schools, colleges and Universities.
Contributions were made by the Project Manager John Moriba and the training coordinator Andrew Ansu Fatorma.
The vote of thanks was moved by PC 10190 Kposowa. B
By Saffa Moriba