A Ghanaian-owned company, Kete Krachi Timber Recovery Ltd. (KKTR), has offered to support the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral with a supply of timber recovered from its Volta Lake.
Notre Dame Cathedral, a French cathedral, which dates back more than 850 years was partially destroyed when its roof caught fire while undergoing renovation and restoration. It is one of the most famous of the gothic cathedrals of the medieval period.
In a statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer of KKTR, Elkin Pianim, “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.”
According to him, “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.” Mr. Pianim said, concluding the statement.
The KKTR is a privately held Ghanaian-owned business under the government’s One District One Factory initiative.