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Sierra Leone News: Oil tank farm to be decentralized

Plans are currently underway for the construction of oil tank farms in the three regional headquarter towns to ensure decentralization, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Peter Bayuku Konteh.
This drive the Minister says is to reduce the over dependence on Freetown to supply the regions when there is a shortage. With the tank Farms located in these strategic locations, it will be cost-effective to get refill from the depot taking into concern safety issues.
A tank farm refers to an area or facility used exclusively for the storage of chemicals such as petroleum. It includes all of the tanks and equipment of this area.
In an effort to promote addition to the value chain in the timber industry, the ministry will also be constructing sawmills in the areas of the country where there are bumper harvest of timber.
A sawmill or lumber mill is a facility where logs are cut into lumber. Before the invention of sawmill, boards were made in various manual ways, either rived (split) and planed, hewn, or more often hand sawn by two men with a whipsaw.
The other plan has to do with “our experience going around the country, we realisied that most of the market structure are dilapidated, therefore we would like to build decent open air market facilities in all the district headquarters”
The ministry is determined to resuscitate the Koindu International Market which they refer to as their bankable project, as its viability the Minister said will send positive signal not only into the local market but also in Mano River Union (MRU) and possible spillover effect in the ECOWAS region.
The market which will be in the eastern region, will serve as a trading centre for the three Mano River countries. It will further help to strengthen fraternal relationship among Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
Koindu market, can be traced back to 1932 when essential goods were brought from China, Dubai and other African countries to be sold at the market. It used to be one of the major revenue bases for government but the rebel war interrupted everything.
The reviving of this market, he says will have the potential for timber industry not to be exploited, but with the sawmill it will reduce the exportation to other countries, as they will get people to do very professional carpentry work and the produce will be channeled through the Koindu market over time.
In his engagements with traders recently in other provincial towns they discovered that most of them sell their wares under rain, but with the help of friendly bilateral donors they are ready to construct simple market structures in each of the districts with WASH facilities, storage, electricity and pharmacy. This is being described as a one district one industry concept.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Monday July 30, 2018.

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