Five years deal for 50 million mahogany trees

By Baraka John

The Government of Western Equatoria State and TODAF engineering Company on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a period of five-years aimed at cutting 50M mahogany trees.

According to the document signed by the state government and the company, the project is meant for construction of state infrastructure estimated at a cost of $2.5 billion.

The agreement was signed in the presence of the state senior officers, state politicians, chiefs, women group, youth and elders, community chiefs, elders and youth representative.

In December last year TODAF engineering company signed the agreement worth USD 2.5 Billion to construct government key infrastructures which included road, airport, schools, hospitals, water and electricity among others.

However, the state Government revealed that the National Government declined to participate in the project.

Speaking to the media after signing the deal, the Managing Director of TODAF engineering company Mr. James Odaga said the agreement is based on financial mobilization that will see the company raise money to start the 5-year project.    

“Today we have entered to the MoU for mobilizing the funds for starting the project as we have signed, we have promised within 21 days we shall have some funds to start our work,” Mr. Odaga said.

He said the constructions of the numerous key infrastructures will start in the next 3 weeks with the construction of new office blocks for the state parliament.

He assured communities in the state of its quality work, the managing director calls on the communities in the state to support the project.

 Governor Alfred Futuyo Karaba said he is in power to offer the services to the communities not for his family arguing the resources of the state must be used for service delivery to the citizens not for the benefit of individuals.  

“I brought the chief, elders, women and youth so that we sit down to see how we can agree with TODAF Company for cutting of trees in the State as part of the MoU we signed last year with them to construct key infrastructures in the State.”

“This project is totally owned by the community not by the state government, the money that the company will generate from the timber deal will be the community responsibility to direct the company on what to construct,” Governor Futuyo reiterated.

Richard Andrea representing chiefs group said they have welcomed and appreciated the move taken by the leadership to develop the state.  

“I appreciate our governor, we know this is the government that will work with us hand in hand, according to our culture when you have wound you can tear your cloth to cover that wound with the piece of that cloth, but the previous leadership used people’s clothes to cover their wounds, this time it is our duty as chiefs, so if you don’t understand what we have signed never ask the governor, come to me and I will explain more to you,”  Chief Andrea said.

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