Director of Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA), Mr. Tommy Garnett has revealed in an exclusive chat with this medium over the weekend that ĎTiwaií is a unique rainforest island where visitors can camp in prepared tents surrounded by an evergreen forest & the sounds of hornbills and monkeys calling from the canopies. He said the island is managed by the Tiwai Island Administrative Committee (TIAC), which represents both communities, government, universities & conservation organizations. "All funds raised are for the running of the project as well as supporting the Community Development Fund, to help finance community initiated programmes," he disclosed.
Mr. Garnett pointed out that the main entrance point to the island is from the small village of Kambama, from there, a motor boat or canoe is always available to the Island across the Moa River.
EFA Director disclosed that research began on Tiwai in the early 1980s, with studies on primates, other mammals, forest dynamics etc. "Research activities were based at a Field Research Station run collaboratively by Njala College (University of Sierra Leone), Hunter College (City University of New York), and the University of Miami," he told our reporter. He said scientists from North America, Europe and Japan have visited the station.
He however lamented that with the advent of the civil conflict in Sierra Leone, research activities came to a halt in the early 1990s. "Post-conflict research began in 2004 and has been undertaken mainly by Sierra Leonean undergraduates and graduate students, and has included a wide range of inventory - collecting baseline and comparative data on avifauna, a full inventory of the flora of Tiwai, rattans, ecotourism, gap analysis, monitoring of mammals through photo-trapping among others," he noted further.
He concluded by calling on students and tourists from home and abroad to take Tiwai Island as one of their major research stations.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.