My name is Salisu Fuseini. I have been working for Mere Plantations for a little over 8 years now. My job is Patrol Team Leader. I love going to work, every day is different. We have our basic functions that need to be performed each day but there is always variety. 

Working for Mere Plantations allows me to know that I have security of income. This allows me to provide for my immediate as well as extended family. I was born and brought up in Offinso, Abrokyire. I still live there with my wife, and 5 children. 

My children attend the same school I attended. Opportunities for secure employment in rural Ghana are few and far between. I have tried to show reliability and honesty to Mere Plantations, they have shown the same back to me. I am proud to wear my Mere uniform and represent the company within my community. 

As well as protecting Mere Plantation’s land, our remit covers Mere’s insistence to be a good neighbour. This translates into us also incorporating patrols of the natural forests and Forestry Commission land. I also help educate people living in the forests about the dangers of fire and unattended cooking. Most forest fires are started by accident. 


Daily diary 

Tuesday 12th May 2020 

08:00 daily meeting with patrol teams. Mapped out areas for patrols and allocated teams. Issued individual assignments and paired up on Motorbikes. The company has just added 3 new 250cc off road bikes for us. I am lky enough to have one of these. 

Each team has 3 compartments to patrol today. The compartments are all over 250 acres, so take some time to patrol. Our site has around 65 Kilometres of internal roads and fire rides. Covering such a large area takes time. For my patrol today, I visited the compound in compartment 31. The security guard there reported no issues, so had a 5 minutes chat and moved on. 

Patrolled the rest of my designated area. The main thing we are looking for is illegal farmers trying to cultivate crops within the forest reserve, and any signs of illegal logging. As we have large and effective patrol teams, we have very few problems. 

I then set off for Kwapanin to meet the rest of the teams. This is a small village conveniently located between site A and site B. I took reports from all teams, filled in the logs, and discharged the staff for the day. 


Wednesday 13th May 2020 

Daily meeting at 08:00 as usual. Patrols assigned and allocated. One of the bikes needed a puncture repairing so had mechanics deal with that whilst we had our daily briefing. 

I decided to patrol site B today, I hadn’t been there for about a week. I also wanted to visit the logging teams in compartment 47, as well as the sawmill we have off reserve. All security were in their positions, no issues at all were reported. Our logging area was busy so made the notes and moved out of the way. 

Completed all other compartments in my schedule and headed to Kwapanin to meet the rest of the teams. Allocated 2 teams to conduct unscheduled night patrols that night. Checks to make sure all security at their posts. Also monitor any vehicle movements in the vicinity of our land. 


Thursday 14th May 2020 

Morning meeting as normal. On the patrols the previous night our teams had gathered information that there may be some illegal loggers planning to operate in the vicinity of one of our compartments. Sounded odd as this compartment contains very young trees. We always take information like this very seriously. Gathered 3×2 man teams, including my team and headed for the compartment in question. 

After a detailed inspection, we found illegal loggers had been at work but that this was not on our land. It was on an adjacent piece of land. Called the local Forestry Commission teams and reported the information. Within the forest reserve, all teams and Forestry Guards constantly share information and intelligence. 

All teams then proceeded to the Nursery site at Abofour. Met up with the maintenance teams, other workers and all nursery workers. They are a useful source of information for anything strange they may have come across within the plantation. There was nothing material to report. 


Friday 15th May 2020 

08.00 Friday meeting with my teams and all other teams employed by Mere Plantations. Each week, depending on the time of year we meet to discuss the weeks events. We discuss the next weeks plans, and we all submit our weekly report for to the management. That is then put into an agreed format for the weekly report to the head office in the UK. Directors from the UK visit often but need accurate and detailed information weekly at least. They also receive a daily update report from the plantations. 

Assigned teams their patrols for the day. We had received information about illegal farmers looking to plant a farm within the reserve. One team went to find them and warned them off. There were no signs a farm had been started, or any planting done. Told them to move on and not to try and enter any Mere Plantations land. They left without argument. 

As the rains are now back, this is the prime time for people setting up illegal farms. Our patrols showed no incursions into Mere Plantations land. We all agreed at our day end meeting to rota daily night patrols. Lights can be seen for several miles at nigh and sound travels better. We also decided to ask the local police and local residents to inform us if they see any new people in the area. 

Took a late-night patrol to the site being cleared. Made sure the security team were onsite with the Bulldozers, tractors and diesel store. All correct, and no issues to report. 

That ended another week. I spent the weekend seeing my family and catching up with the children. We always enjoy eating and spending time together at the weekends.