4th March 2021
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National, WES gov’ts to renegotiate $2.5billion teak harvesting deal

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Saturday, February 13, 2021

The $2.5billion deal for 50 million teak trees will be re-discussed at the national level.

The national Minister of Environment and the governor of Western Equatoria have resolved to discuss details of the $2.5 billion deal on teak harvesting in the state.

About 5 million trees are expected to be cut down for commercial purposes.

Earlier, the state government signed an agreement with TODAF, a Ugandan-based engineering company to harvest teak trees.

The deal would allow the company to use revenues generated from the activity to construct roads, airport, schools, hospitals, water systems, and electricity, among others in the state.

But the national Ministry of Environment interjected by stating that the process was illegal because it was not consulted.

“I have never met the governor, first of all. Secondly, the company has not come to us, and we do not know the company,” minister Josephine Napwon said.

On Thursday, Napwon and Governor Alfred Futuyo Karaba met over the matter in Juba.

“We are concerned about the preservation of our forest… As a ministry, we cannot allow the company to go and cut trees anyhow,” Napwon said in a joint press briefing.

Governor Futuyo said the state government will now present the ministry the signed document for renegotiation.

“Our intent was not ending at the state level, and even now no single tree has been cut. There is no work started yet. Today we agreed to go back to the state and TODAF will come to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, then we will agree.”

According to the constitution, forests are a national resource managed by the national government through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

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