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. That’s according to a statement signed and issued by the CEO of KKTR, Elkin Pianim, in Accra on April 23, 2019.
Notre-Dame cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. The roof of the cathedral caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019, while, undergoing renovation and restoration.
Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the flèche (the timber spire over the crossing) and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling.
According to the statement which was copied to the gbcghanaonline,:“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 minimized… The timber from Volta Lake will provide quality, beauty and character, without having to cut down a single living tree. KKTR’s timber is a world-leader in minimized environmental impact and aligns perfectly with Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment”
The statement further said, KKTR Management 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 3 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.
“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.” It said.
“KKTR is pleased to make a tangible contribution to supporting President Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, believes that this initiative helps 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 concluded.