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The West Africa Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (WARCIP) has held a one day workshop aimed at discussing the negative Environmental impacts of the ACE project and proffering possible solutions to its challenges.
The workshop took place on June 13th at the Njala Venue, Beach Road Lumley Freetown.
Speaking during the workshop, chairman of the occasion, Mr. Cooper said an Environmental study/survey was undertaken to look at the possibility on how the African Connection to Europe construction is going to be done on the various landing sites earmarked for the project.
Bishop Abu Koroma, a board member of the ACE project said the project is set to make communication cheaper in the sub-region amidst plans to also broaden the improvement of regional and international connectivity; but however claims that the project has also got the potential to give negative impact on the Environmental during the installation and pre- installation periods.
He said an Environmental Protection Agency was created in the concept of the ACE project to mitigate measures that would minimize the negative impacts of environmental hazard. In his contribution, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication, Mr. Tamu said it was incumbent on the World Bank to do an Environmental impact survey. This, he said, will give the institution knowledge on how to handle the negative Environmental impacts of the project and find ways to minimize it, adding that the findings of the survey will be made public.
Mr. Julius Kamara, Project Coordinator (WARCIP) –Sierra Leone, said the ACE project is very important adding that upon completing the fibre optic cable project students would be opportune to pursue courses abroad without need for Visa. He said the government has hired consultants to do risk analysis on the Environmental and Social aspects of the project, adding that President Ernest Koroma has taken keen interest on the Environmental aspect of the project.
By M K B
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