2023 Edition of Kouaoua Environment Day

Under a sunny weather and with great enthusiasm, SMSP Group and NMC, Nickel Mining Company, had a great privilege to take part in the 4th Kouaoua Environment Day on this Friday 21st July 2023.

Established by a civil initiative of Faja Primary School, this Environment Day is now registered as a local event planned and organised by the Kouaoua Town Council in partnership with Faja Primary School, and a number of partners and sponsors who have become loyal over the years to the event.

This 4th edition demonstrated a sound and structure organisation with precise planning steps that have gone into making this event as warm and respectful as ever. The Day began with brief speeches by the Kouaoua Town Hall and the School Headmistress, Julianna PONGA, who thanked the speakers and encouraged the children to remain faithful to their engagement on a daily basis.

The children from the Kouaoua-Canala Junior High School and Faja Primary School were then directed to the School’s various workshops, and to the buses that would take them to their respective activity sites including those of NMC, SLN and the mangrove plantation site.

NMC planting workshop

This year, NMC Kouaoua provided a 50-seater bus to transport 30 students, their teachers or supervisors and few parents to the Sotrapor site at the bottom of the Kadjitra Mine.

Once on site, the group was taken in charge by Stephen GELIMA, Kouaoua NMC Centre Operation Manager, and his team, who were out in full force for the occasion. They were also supported by two representatives of SIRAS Company. SIRAS, NMC’s leading environmental partner, supplied the plant seedlings and inputs and helped to dig the holes with the NMC team the day before.

Jonathan GONY, senior environmental technician, who was present last year, explained the different stages of planting to the school pupils, as well as the various soil enrichment nutrients.

The children then selected their plants before moving on to the first planting sites. A demonstration was given by Jonathan and SIRAS representative before each child set off alone or within a group. Pupils from 4th Grade and fifth year of primary, supervisors and parents were able to plant 100 seedlings in just an hour, in a relaxed, determined and friendly atmosphere.

Last but not least, a watering machine delighted the children’s curiosity by refuelling in the river near the planting site, the same watering machine that could be used to water the plants in times of drought.

The kids who attended last year’s event, along with NMC and SIRAS teams, were delighted to discover that only 5 of the 80 transplanted plants last year failed to survive, giving a success rate of over 90%. An encouraging result that has kept the whole group enthusiastic and motivated.

A wildlife and energy transition workshop at Faja Primary School

Among the many workshops scheduled for the occasion, some of the children also benefited from a visit to the SLN Mine in Kouaoua, and a Mangrove planting workshop, while other workshops took place directly at the Faja Primary School.

A wildlife workshop offered by NMC entitled “the curiosity of the ear”

For the first time, NMC also intended to offer a wildlife workshop, with the help of service provider Fabien RAVARY from RAVARY Consultancy, who put forward an introduction in the classroom before taking groups of around ten children out into the field.

The children were first able to discover or recognise the songs, tones and sounds emitted by the birds, before going on to identify them on the school’s botanical trail, which is still in the process of being designed, right next to the school’s buildings, and leading from a large banyan tree that serves as a natural habitat for these untamed birds.

SMSP & SOFINOR information workshop: history of the group and energy transition

Under its shelter set up at the entrance of the Faja Primary School, SMSP & SOFINOR Group organised a workshop to discover SMSP Group and its energy transition approach. It was an opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences and ask questions about the climate issue, the immediate effects on people and the environment, and the solutions envisaged by manufacturers in particular.

Also, at the request of the groups, an update on the history of the group and how it operates was offered whenever the groups wished. This was a way for SMSP to make itself more accessible to the general public, and to children in particular.

The workshop was a great success, with children taking part in quizzes to win an SMSP cap. The speakers were able to see the children’s desire to learn more, their interest in environmental issues and, above all, their firm desire to do things differently for the future.

A host of other activities

The School and the Town Hall had organised the pupils into groups of 10 so that they could take advantage of a number of organised workshops in the School compound, and a planting workshop right next to the School.

The Environmental Initiative Centre, a regular event partner, also organised a waste management workshop, which was a great success. Divided into stages of the wastes’ management process, the children had to recreate the process using magnetic symbols to place on a board. A quizz was also organised. So many fun activities around waste management, one of the major themes of the day.

SMSP wishes to thank particularly the Kouaoua Town Hall and the Faja Primary School for extending us an invitation to this year’s edition, as well as their trust towards us and our subsidiary, NMC, to offer environmental activities in line with the chosen themes.

Our sincere and heartfelt thanks also go to the NMC and SIRAS teams for their engagement, commitment and enthusiasm in supervising the children’s plantation.

Precisely, it is to the children that we address our thanks, and our encouragement for the future. We want to be part of an operational approach that ensures these children a preserved environment for the future.

See you next year !