"The wooden houses here are an important part of the attraction of staying here."
In CEB’s FSC-certified workers village, employees and their families are offered big wooden houses made from FSC-certified timber.
Alain Kassibi is responsible for the community’s housing. He explains: ”Talking to the local workers, the wooden houses here are an important part of the attraction of staying here. The houses are spacious, about 100 square metres for a family home. They are well-made, and offer both electricity and sanitation, and are close to a water supply.”
But living spaces are not the only important thing. Families who live here and in the local villages of the forest are offered basic medical services at the small hospital where Dr. Bally and the nurses can diagnose and perform daily medical care.
As part of an FSC certification audit, the hospital was urged to buy an ambulance in case of an emergency or serious illness, to be able to drive a patient to a bigger hospital in the nearby town. To Bally and his team this made sense.
The fire brigade is one of Bambidie’s prides. They have a fully equipped fire truck and do regular trainings in case of fire emergencies in the living area or at the nearby sawmill. FSC certification means that yearly audits also focus on demonstrating their fire drills.
Bambidie offers a fun day care for smaller children. This means that women also have the opportunity to work for their family’s welfare, and it makes life easier for women raising children on their own. When the kids grow older, they attend the school situated just down the road with 700 children from the whole area.
Preserving local culture
As the heart of Bambidie, right next to the community’s big football field, surrounded by wooden houses, is the community centre.
Here children and adults are engaged in teaching and learning local languages, and preserving local culture with a strong focus on all nine regions of Gabon. The centre also offers help with reading skills for adults.
Equatoriale des Bois (CEB), Precious Woods