Assistant Certification Manager of Logs and Lumber Ltd (LLL), a timber processing firm in Kumasi, Mr. Alfred Baku, has noted that recycling is key to conserving Ghana’s diminishing forests.
Mr. Baku, who was speaking to a group of women known as Women In Forestry at the premises of LLL in Kumasi, said when wood is judiciously used and waste products are put to other useful purposes, the pressure on the forests would reduce.
He said, as the pressure reduces, the forests are allowed to regenerate thereby ensuring conservation. “In the timber industry there is nothing like waste. We make use of every part of timber from the time it gets to our log yard till we finally come out with the finished products”.
Taking the women drawn from the media, forestry, industry and educational institutions, through the production process at LLL, Mr. Baku said, when logs are debarked, the bark is either given to herbal medicine producers or converted into fuel for their wood dryers.
“From that stage, the wood goes through a lot of processes with some transformed into sliced or round veneer, plywood or other materials, depending on the orders we get,” he explained.
He said, per the timber regulations, 80% of their wood must be supplied to the foreign market with the rest going to the local market.
“Even at the tail end of our production, some carpenters and local saw millers come for some of the hitherto waste products to be processed into other useful products,” he stated.
The saw dust is compressed into briquettes for charcoal or sent to the boiler to be burnt to generate heat for wood dryers.
He encouraged industries in the sector to consider means of maximizing the use of wood to guarantee perpetual supply of raw materials.
“If we don’t manage production well to salvage the forests, a time will come where we all would be forced to fold up as a result of lack of raw materials,” he warned.
The visit of the Women In Forestry, funded the Department for International Development (DfID), through Client Earth, an NGO, was part of efforts at encouraging and sensitizing women to take up key roles in the forestry sector, an area perceived to be predominantly occupied by their male counterparts.