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 rebuilding the 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. 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 minimised environmental impact and aligns perfectly with Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment,” stated Elkin Pianim, KKTR CEO.
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 1,000years 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 can 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 will be determined by desired colour, pattern, and structural requirements. Initial estimates value KKTR’s contribution at US$50million, plus the living trees that are saved by using Volta Lake salvaged timber.
KKTR is happy to make a tangible contribution to supporting President Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, and 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.