A Ghanaian-owned company, Kete Krachi Timber Recovery Ltd. (KKTR), has offered to provide timber salvaged from its Volta Lake concession to support the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral.
The timber from Volta Lake will provide quality, beauty and character, without having to cut down a single living tree, the company under the government’s One District One Factory initiative, said in a statement, Tuesday.
“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,” added the statement signed by Chief Executive Officer, Elkin Pianim.
According to the company, the 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 KKTR’s sawmill site at Sedorm, in the Asuogyaman District of Eastern Region...”
It will entail substantial skill transfer and increased rural employment.
A massive blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last week devastated large parts of the 850-year-old church.
The fire is now out, but the cathedral's iconic spire fell during the hours it took to battle the blaze.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in an address to the nation, promised Parisians that they will "rebuild this cathedral together."
It said that KKTR's timber is a world-leader in minimised environmental impact and aligns perfectly with Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment.
The statement said the KKTR made the decision to offer timber at cost, upon learning that the large oak trees used in the original construction are 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, it noted. “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.”
“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. 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.”
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