SUDAN / TEAK

Preview Language:   Original
30-May-2011 00:03:47
The Western Equatoria state in Southern Sudan boasts the majority of the country's teak trees, a plant that is taking the lead as Southern Sudan looks at agriculture as an alternative to building its economy after independence on nine July. UNMIS

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STORY: SUDAN / TEAK
SOURCE: UNMIS
TRT: 3:47
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: RECENT/ WESTERN EQAUTORIA / SOUTHERN SUDAN

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, Teak trees along the roadside
2. Med shot, Teak tress
3. Wide shot, men walking in the teak forest
4. Tilt down, teak forest
5. Wide shot, teak forest
6. Med shot, men cutting the trees
7. Close up, chain saw cutting tree
8. Med shot, timber falling
9. SOUNDBITE (English) William Bahkit, Worker at the Equatoria Teak Company:
“We are cutting almost fifty or forty per day and then we make cross- cutting all in all. If the machine is ok, it is 60 or so we are cutting.”
10. Med shot, signing reading Danger
11. Close up, sign
12. Wide shot, teak plantation with SPLA soldiers guarding
13. Med shot, soldiers
14. Wide shot, teak logs
15. Close up, logs
16. Wide shot, teak logs being loaded on trucks
17. Med shot, man operating the lift
18. Wide shot, logs being lifted
19. Wide shot, truck being loaded with timber
20. Wide shot, wood processing plant
21. Med shot, frame saw cutting the teak wood
22. Close up, wood being sliced
23. Med shot, woman operating a hand saw
24. Close up, saw cutting the wood to size
25. Wide shot, piles on teak wood ready for export
26. Close up, Teak pile ready for export
27. SOUNDBITE (English) Hannes Winter, Equatoria Teak Company:
“A hundred percent of our products get exported and because of the export aspect we face quite a number of challenges, major challenges being logistics. We are two weeks travel away from port so with export it’s obviously a time issue as well as a financial issue so its quite expensive.”
28. Wide shot, sign reading Mborizanga Reserve
29. Med shot, sign
30. Wide shot, women watering a teak nursery
31. Med shot, watering the teak
32. Close up, teak plants sprouting
33. SOUNDBITE (English) Mathew Udo, Former Agriculture Minister, Western Equatoria State:
“Chance should be giving to the local community to empower them, to get employment, to improve their technical ability to run the project and then to have reasonable pay at the end of the day, this is part of the contract.”
34. Wide shot, carpenter working
35. Med shot, carpenter
36. Close up, carpenter working
37. Med shot, machine clearing waste teak wood
38. Wide shot, teak waste wood being piled up
39. SOUNDBITE (English) John Momuke, Carpenter:
“Since I started this job there has been some changes. I did get a little money that is helping me. I have kids in school and also provide for the family, this is the work I do, this is my business. I did not get a job with the government; the money helps me provide for the family at home, pay school fees for the kids as well as pay our medical bills.”
40. Wide shot, teak wood inside a warehouse
41. Med shot, man marking the teak wood
42. Med shot, man packing the teak


STORYLINE:

A common sight as one drives through Western Equatoria state, huge tress lining up the length of the roads, and towering as though reaching for the skies.

This state boasts the majority of Sudan’s teak trees, a plant that is taking the lead as Southern Sudan looks at agriculture as an alternative to building its economy after independence on nine July.

The trees, most of which were planted in a number of states in Southern Sudan in the 1940’s by British missionary and colonialist, did not get much attention as Sudan’s north and south plunged into two successive wars, with the last ending in 2005.

The trees are now being harvested and could serve as the next big money maker for southern Sudan.

SOUNDBITE (English) William Bahkit, Worker at the Equatoria Teak Company:
“We are cutting almost fifty or forty per day and then we make cross- cutting all in all. If the machine is ok, it is 60 or so we are cutting.”

One company already cashing in on this cash crop is the Norwegian and British owned Equatoria Teak Company. They set up operations in 2007 in Western Equatoria and by 2009 they exported their first high quality teak to compete with other world markets.

The teak found in Sudan is believed to have originated from Burma (Myanmar). It is known for its durability and ability to withstand the elements. It is resistant to insects and water damage and is mostly used in the building of ships and expensive outdoor furniture.

In Africa, other teak plantations can be found in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. But the quality found in Sudan is said to be far superior.

The soil and climate conditions in the south are perfect for the growing of teak. After 10 years a teak tree can grow up to about 18 meters high with a trunk diameter of 18- 20 cm. The longer it grows the better the stock of wood.

Over the years security has been a problem with illegal logging of trees and LRA activity in the area. As a result armed security is required for the company’s loggers carry out their work.

After the trees are logged, they are loaded and transported to the company’s sawing mill in Nzara.

Here trained personnel work with highly powered frame saws to cut and slice the lumber into precise sizes ready to be shipped to markets Europe and the Far East.

SOUNDBITE (English) Hannes Winter, Equatoria Teak Company:
“A hundred percent of our products get exported and because of the export aspect we face quite a number of challenges, major challenges being logistics. We are two weeks travel away from port so with export it’s obviously a time issue as well as a financial issue so its quite expensive.”

The Mborizanga Reserve is one of five plantations run by the Equatoria Company, totaling to about 2,100 hectares. The company has its nursery and has replanted over 100 hectares of forest and providing much needed employment for the local community.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mathew Udo, Former Agriculture minister, Western Equatoria State:
“Chance should be giving to the local community to empower them, to get employment, to improve their technical ability to run the project and then to have reasonable pay at the end of the day, this is part of the contract.”

Local entrepreneurs like John Joseph Bomuke are also making good use of the teak. John is also taping into the available resource to earn a living. He makes furniture and sells it to his neighbors. He hopes to gain more from the factory, using the waste wood that does not meet the export quality.

SOUNDBITE (English) John Momuke, Carpenter:
“Since I started this job there has been some changes. I did get a little money that is helping me. I have kids in school and also provide for the family, this is the work I do, this is my business. I did not get a job with the government; the money helps me provide for the family at home, pay school fees for the kids as well as pay our medical bills.”

With just months before southern Sudan’s independence, the focus needs to shift to rebuilding infrastructure and economic development for its 10 states.

Teak is an example of the agricultural potential that the south has, but more attention need to be given to the sector. Agriculture not only stands to be the backbone of the new nation’s economy, through its export, but it can also feed its people and provide much needed jobs for the youth.
Series
Category
Geographic Subjects
Creator
UNMIS
Asset ID
U110530a