Goldtree Sierra Leone Limited yesterday commenced the third phase of the public disclosure of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for sustainable oil palm plantation development in four Chiefdoms in the Eastern Region, Kailahun District.
To undertake the ESIA which CEMMAT was contracted to do, Oludolapo Akinyosoye-Gbonda of CEMMAT said that the study was done in the Jawei, Njaluahun, Malema and Mandu Chiefdoms were the project is being implemented.
She stated that field exercises were done and the result formed the basis of this Community Development Action Plan document and that the document could be updated periodically in line with on- going consultation and adoption of outcomes as they arise.
Oludolapo Akinyosoye-Gbonda said the objectives of the Community Development Action Plan is to identify appropriate mitigation measures to address socio-economic issues and impacts identified in the ESIA and to promote the establishment of sustainable community and economic development programmes for the affected communities.
Statements were also delivered by different Members of Parliament representing the various Constituencies where the project has been undertaken. Hon. Mustapha Brima representing Constituency 5 said that the two organizations are very familiar to them because of the work they are engage in.
He stated that the assessment is very important and relevant especially for those who venture into project implementation. He said that long years back, there were no laws protecting the environment, therefore the environment was not properly cared for. But now, there are laws governing the protection, things are going to be properly done, and it has created some environmental problems.
As MP, he said their role is not only to make laws but also provides oversight projects in their Constituencies; “that is why we are going to look into projects that will benefit their people.
The recommendations from the reports will not be placed in shelves to gather dust but its recommendations implemented to the latter. The oversight is going to be rigid this time round.”
Hon. Maada Moiwai Nyuma in his statement, welcomed the project by Goldtree stating that to reduced poverty, projects should be implemented in the rural areas and such projects will benefit financially but will also create jobs for the community and expand on the country’s GDP.
Given an overview of the Goldtree, Andrew Beveridge spoke about the establishment of organization in 2007.
He said that they are a registered oil palm company with the aim to implement a quality palm oil production and marketing in the country and also to promote, redevelop and expand the existing Daru Oil Palm Scheme.