Deforestation and unregulated artisanal mining in Chiefdoms of Sella Limba and Sanda Loko have adversely affected the environment and vegetated areas, making it unsuitable for farming and any other activity.
AMR Gold has looked to resolve the situation by partnering with the Forestry Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) to provide training for 10 local farmers in the villages of Kathirie, Kathanta and Kayaway in Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone to begin the process of reforestation.
500 seeds sowed in 3,000 polybags
The seven day training program has recently been completed and focused on the development of nurseries, this was facilitated by trainers contracted from the Forestry Department. The trainees were lectured on reforestation and trained on how to do site cleaning and manual compost collection; Preparation of a seedbed; Erection of shed and levelling of ground; Sieving of manual and processing of water plastic; Filing of plastic and stalking; Preparation of spread bed and sowing of seeds among others.
AMR Gold further distributed about 8000 exotic and indigenous tree seedlings which are to be nursed and later transplanted directly in the field. It is hoped that at the end those germinated seedlings will be supplied for the rehabilitation of mined out areas and to develop offset for areas that cannot be rehabilitated.
Giving an overview of the project, AMR Gold’s Community Liaison Coordinator-John P. Moriba says the vegetation of Sella Limba and Sanda Loko Chiefdoms is characterized by savannah woodland. He added that agro-economic practices such as slash-and- burn agriculture, mono-cropping, illegal logging and uncontrolled clearing of land have damaged the natural ecosystems of these Chiefdoms causing the savannah woodland to disappear and soil fertility to decline.
He noted that this situation is worsened by the impact of unregulated artisanal or alluvial mining activities which has devastated the land by clearing and digging up vegetated areas. After the land has been mined, the land is left exposed and degraded, unsuitable for farming or any other activity. When mining is carried out on hills and slopes, J.P. Moriba says severe erosion or flooding can result.
He stressed that AMR Gold embarks on this project to help address the future damage this might cause to the environment and the community in particular.
Processing of plastics as polybags
The District Forestry Officer told the trainees that they should be grateful to AMR Gold for providing the financial support, adding that this indicates AMR Gold’s fullest support for environmental control and protection in Sierra Leone.
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