The Kete Krachi Timber Recovery Ltd (KKTR), a Ghanaian-owned company under the One District One Factory initiative has offered to provide timber salvaged from its Volta Lake concession to support the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral.
“The Notre Dame Cathedral belongs to the world and we want to do our part to support its reconstruction and to ensure that the environmental impact of restoration is minimised,” a press statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer of KKTR, Elkin Pianim, copied the Ghanaian Times said.
“We believe that this initiative will help raise awareness of how Ghana can contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and we expect that the highly technical processing to be undertaken at KKTRs sawmill site at Sedorm, in the Asuogyaman District of Eastern Region to ready these timbers for the cathedral will entail substantial skill transfer and increased rural employment,” the statement said.
According to the statement issued on Tuesday, the timber from Volta Lake would provide quality, beauty and character, without having to cut down a single living tree.
“KKTR’s timber is a world-leader in minimised environmental impact and aligns perfectly with Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment,” the statement said.
Elkin Pianim, KKTR CEO stated KKTR management made the decision to offer timber at a cost upon learning that the large oak trees used in the original construction were no longer readily available.
“The estimated 1,300 trees felled for the construction of Notre Dame came from French forests of 1,000 years ago, and were probably three centuries old when cut. Oaks of comparable age and size exist in just 0.01% of French forest and are critical for biodiversity, so these trees cannot responsibly be felled,” it added.
“The Volta Lake timber is from virgin old-growth forest that was submerged when the lake was created in the 1960s. This timber from primary tropical forest is ideal for Notre Dame from both a size and a conservation standpoint,” the statement said.
According to the statement, species such as afam, celtis, dahoma, danta, kaku, kusia, makore, obaa, odum, watapuo, tetekon, and papao are appropriate substitutes for oak, and the specific timber selected for use would be determined by desired colour, pattern, and structural requirements.
“Initial estimates value KKTR’s contribution at $50 million, plus the living trees that are saved by using Volta Lake salvaged timber,” the statement said.
“KKTR is pleased to make a tangible contribution to supporting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda,” it added.