Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Odongo Odoyo

The would have been saga surrounding the 50 million tree cutting project whose estimated cost is 2.5 billion USD has been resolved by making it known to the general public that it is meant for the common-man and not only to benefit the Western Equatoria state but the whole country. This is how it should be. Transparency and accountability will now follow and push aside rumours which were almost taking centre stage. The state government should work hand in hand with the national authorities to ensure progress was made before and during the project’s take off and by large should include planting at least two trees for one felled down to keep the area green against desert. It is true that the cash involved is big and should not drive some people to overlook the intended program of the project. Five years it will be. The Uganda Company signed the contact to cut 50 million mahogany trees from the forest. Alfred Futiyo Karaba, the governor told the public while addressing the press at Yambio airstrip that the national government had given the nod to have project between TODAF Engineering Company to continue with the deal as signed in the contract.  It took almost a week for the truth to come out, but eventually, it came out and cleared the air which had created doubts in the minds of many. At one point the national Ministry of Environment and Forestry announced the suspension of the project as they summon the Uganda Company directors for further consultations. All that which surrounded the project has been left behind. What remains now is how it will be handled and managed with all purposes of benefitting the state and the country at large. Five years is a long journey that must be guarded accordingly with trust and hope of finishing it to the end and should be taken by grace being well aware that job opportunities for the youth all forms of favourism should be shelved aside and only those who are meant to benefit from the project given first priority. The management of the project should equally be on the alert and watch against those who would want it to fail. Since the Governor has revealed that the already listed are construction of State parliament and rehabilitation of Gangura road to Napiapai in the border of DRC. Only those licensed for the work should be allowed but more important they must take and heed that required law by not deforesting the area and leaving it without replacing the trees. The area people should be able to be engaged so that the flow of revenues would help their families. The opportunity should not be used by those involved in illegal loggingfor their own benefit. I am sure the communities in the area. The proceed may make some people go hey-way but this is an area that the administration and the management of the project should consider taking care of seriously.

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