The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) through the PAPFor project, funded by the EU, recently completed a four-day GIS training for staff of CSSL and Gola Rainforest Company (GRC) at the Hawaz Inn Multi-purpose Hall in Kenema, to introduce participants to the use of the GPS equipment, a vital tool for conducting surveys and mapping of forests.

One of the participants, Miatta Blessing Luama, GRC’s Community Development Relations Officer (CDRO) attached to Barri chiefdom in Pujehun district, expressed profound gratitude to CSSL and the donors for exposing them (field staff) to such a useful training. She stated that she has never had this kind of opportunity before.

“I initially thought GIS skills were only meant for boundary officers and staff of the Park Operations. But the PAPFor project has done a marvelous job to introduce us to the devise for the first excited and thankful to the project for such an undertaking.” Miatta Blessing Luama, GRC’s Community Development Relations Officer (CDRO)

Madam Luama furthered that, they are usually faced with boundary problems between communities in their respective operational chiefdoms, but always referred such issues to the headquarters in Kenema due to lack of skills to handle those matters. She expressed her delight in her ability to use the GPS and to analyze data collected using a computer. She encouraged other participants to beat the spirit of shyness and strive to continue practicing the device as that is the only way to be conversant with its possibilities.