13.05.2020. IFO has extended the strategic measures developed with local authorities to stem the spread of COVID-19 to service providers. A cordon sanitaire is now in place at the gates of the industrial site. Whether arriving from Douala (Cameroon), Brazzaville or Pointe-Noire (Congo), cities where several people have already been infected, carriers are requested to park in a suitable area, some 500 m away from the entrance to the sawmills. The aim is to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible, protect workers and their communities and focus on prevention, with better management of potential cases.
Known as ‘Parking transporteurs’ (carrier parking), the area is safe. A check point is located at the entrance to the village of Ngombé, 50 m from the parking. On arrival, the first formality is, body temperature screening (mandatory for everyone, with no exception). 'Thanks to this procedure, we have identified a driver of small vehicles who was transporting essential goods from Ouesso, whose temperature was above 38 C,' said Erice Kimbembe, IFO's Head of Health, Safety and Environment: 'The driver was quarantined and the doctor established that it was malaria. The carrier has since recovered.'
Completely renovated by IFO in 2019 to allow hauliers and cargo to stay safely overnight, the area has numbered parking spaces. Each driver is responsible for the space assigned to them. Since the implementation of the emergency plan, before the start of the loading formalities, carriers may only have their papers signed after receiving a call from the fleet and transport authorities. With masks a compulsory measure throughout the site, carriers and their assistants must also report to the administrative offices wearing masks. Packing slips are signed in the parking, at the end of the loading formalities, in the presence of the transport manager.
The local authorities have moved security personnel to the parking area, to ensure that everyone keeps their distance from the virus. 'Movement in the area defined by the cordon sanitaire is allowed,' clarified Mr. Kimbembe. 'Only, for the strategy to be effective, it must be kept to a bare minimum, while respecting hygiene and prevention measures.'
The car park is also a clean and hospitable service area, where Cameroonian shopkeepers have opened up restaurants. In those areas, where people are likely to come together, it is compulsory to maintain physical distance of 1 m between people. The car park provides hauliers with access to rest rooms. There are common areas for washing clothes. Once the relevant export documents have been signed, carriers continue their onward journey, to make sure their cargo safely reaches its final destination: discharge ports.
With your help, hauliers from Cameroon and Congo are keeping their distance from the virus in a clean, safe and secure parking lot.
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To be continued...
INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.
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Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
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Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82