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Sierra Leone
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Employment opportunity youth in Waterloo enhanced

…As $4M factory project commissioned

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

 The Presidential Youth Aide has commissioned a US$4 million project to build a factory in Waterloo that will help process and manufacture plywood, ceilotex, mosquito coil and wooden coal. The project has so far employed approximately 500 youth, mostly women from Waterloo in the Western Area Rural District, according to a source at Timber Harvesters, Processors and Exporters (SL) Limited.

In his statement during the commissioning, Bai Mahmoud Bangura, stated that the brain behind the project, Alie Suma, has demonstrated that he is one of few Sierra Leoneans to have responded to the government’s ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.

He informed the gathering that everywhere in the world it is the private sector that serves as a major employer, adding, “I am optimistic that more benefits will come when the factory kick-starts operations.”

He urged young people, especially those in Waterloo, to make good use of the opportunity accorded them by giving their fullest cooperation at all times towards the success of the project.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on the people of Waterloo to embrace the project, which has come to reduce poverty in the country,” he said.

Giving an overview of the project, Managing Director of Timber Harvesters, Processors and Exporters (SL) Limited, Alie Suma, noted that the construction of the factory will be completed within ninety days because according to him, all the materials were available to complete the work.

He expressed his delight to have started the process of contributing to national development and for taking the lead in President Ernest Bai Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.

“What I am doing is to add value to timber before it is exported out of the country. I trust in the government because it knows how and when to do things that will enhance national development. I have succeeded in employing about 950 Sierra Leoneans, some of which I pick from the street,” he said.

Suma pointed out that through the opening of his timber factory at Manor Corner in Waterloo, he has been able to add value to trade, create employment for the youth and reduce crime rate in the community.

Special Adviser to President Koroma on Agriculture, Dr. S.T.A. Kamara, said the government would always support development initiatives like Mr. Suma’s.

“President Koroma has the sector at heart and wants to see that value is added to the Timber Industry. Let me assure you on behalf of government that we will continue to stand-by you (Alie Suma) by providing the necessary support you need to achieve success,” Dr. Kamara assured.

Also speaking, President of Timber Association, Allan Barrie, opined that that timber processing should not be an enemy to people and the environment as they have put in place mechanisms to preserve the environment by planting more trees.

“We want the government to see us as great partners ready to develop the country at all times,” he said.

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