CAWI supports IDPs economically

(IDPs and CAWI after receiving their seed  capital)

The economic empowerment program that was benefited by nine women,  was organized by ERuDeF Center for the Advancement of Women’s Initiatives (CAWI). Its main objective was to donate items to IDPs to start up a business. The event took place on Tuesday 25th February, 2020 at the ERuDeF Conference Hall, at 3’30pm. It was attended by some eleven Internally Displaced women who received items like firewood, cosmetics, cocoyams, plantains, materials for soap production etc, for their businesses.

The event was spearheaded by the Programs Officer Mbunya Mary, with the help of the entire CAWI team, who handed the items to the internally displaced women. Speaking during the event the Director of CAWI highlighted on the expected impact which should affect both the recipients and their families positively. She stressed on the need for the recipients to manage the items judiciously and to expect a monitoring team from CAWI for follow up.

 At the end of the event, the women expressed  joy as they received the items. Mrs. Bernadette Foncham, the leader of a group of three women who received items for soap production said “CAWI has been very helpful to my group. My team was among the women who were trained on soap production. We started producing powder soap, but went short of materials to continue with the production. I thank CAWI for giving me these materials. This will make the production easier for my team. I am extremely happy because CAWI has dried tears from my eyes. This will make life easier for me and the women in my group”.

Mrs. Foleven Elizabeth expressed  much gratitude to CAWI as she said “I thank CAWI so much for these items. Life has been extremely difficult for me as an IDP in Buea. It was so difficult for me to feed my entire family. With this business I intend starting up, it will go a long way to provide food and basic necessities for my children. God bless CAWI”.

Mrs. Tanbedeck Louisa was full of joy “this is a dream come true. I have always dreamt of owning a business of my own but it sounded impossible to me. This is because as an IDP, I could barely feed myself.  CAWI has added purpose to my life My life will be easier now. Long live CAWI”.

The event ended with photographs taken of the happy internally displaced women, and CAWI team feeling accomplished for putting smiles on their faces.

ERuDeF Forest Garden Program Revolutionising Smallholder  Agriculture

(Degraded Slopes in Western Cameroon)

Land Degradation in most Landscapes in Cameroon is fast becoming an issue which must be taken care  of before impending consequences affect most communities. Most degraded landscapes, following many years of deforestation suffer from decreasing soil fertility which has led to poor agricultural production and low income for farmers.

The Forest Garden Program, implemented by ERuDeF and funded by Trees for the Future, USA aims to increase food security and incomes of farmers across Cameroon. Today, it specifically seeks to restore degraded farmlands across 3 landscapes in Cameroon, namely: the Mount Bamboutos, Western High Plateau Landscapes and Nlonako Muanenguba  mountains.

To help alleviate food insecurity within these landscapes in the nearest future, the forest garden technique was initiated and will be implemented in the area, over a 4 – year period. According to Pierre of Loung village, Menoua division, “This project is special because of the use of agroforestry trees in farmland as wind breaks, live fences, for soil fertility, mulching plants and even for composting.To establish a forest garden, a three phased approach was developed as follows; Protection, Diversification and Optimization.

Activities like, sensitization, mobilization, registration of forest gardens and training on Forest Garden design  will be carried out this year. Over 1,250 farmers have been targeted across the 3 landscapes. More than 2,000,000 agroforestry trees and fruits, trees will be planted this year across the 3 landscapes by  ERuDeF.

(Forest Garden, Nlonako in Mungo, Cameroon)

The PP15 Project wraps up  

This is a joint project of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Groupement D’Appui pour le Development Durable (GADD) and the Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST) that seeks to contribute towards the restoration and protection of the Ecosystem functions and biodiversity of Mount Bamboutos while improving on the living conditions of the local population in and around the mountain landscape.

This project was initiated after observation revealed that, Mt. Bamboutos which is an important watershed and  a rich biodiversity hotspot in Cameroon  for several decades, was  undergoing  severe degradation leading to water shortages, soil erosion, deadly landslides, low crops yields and poverty in many households around this mountain landscape. It was a two-year project which started in November 2017 and funded by the French Fund for Global Environment-Small Grants Program (FFEM-PPI 5) through the International Union for Conservation of Nature – French Committee.

The project was carried out in three Chiefdoms namely Bafou (Menoua division), Bangang (Bamboutos division) and Bamumbu (Lebialem division) and eight sub-villages which are Ndoh and Mezet (Bafou), Mekoup and Balekeu (Bangang) and Fonenge, Aghong, Atsualah and Magha (Bamumbu) in the Mount Bamboutos landscape. The local population living in the project target villages whose livelihood depends on agricultural activities, benefited from training activities on tree nursery establishment, agroforestry techniques, grafting techniques, tree planting techniques and seedlings transplanting.

About one hundred and twelve thousand (112,000) agroforestry trees were planted in ninety (90) farmers’ fields in the 8 sub-villages in Bafou, Bangang and Bamumbu. These will increase the vegetation cover of the Mount Bamboutos, leading to the restoration of at least 50 hectares of the degraded landscape. Also, three land use governance institutions were put in place and their capacities built on good land use governance. These include the Mount Bamboutos Fons’ Association and two regional platforms for dialogue and consultation -one for the West region and the other for the Southwest region. These have led to a significant increase in land use governance.

The project ended leaving great impacts on the lives of the people and the environment with over 90 farmers (41.7% women) changing their farming methods by engaging and being committed to building a productive ecosystem through tree planting. They have embraced agroforestry as a good ecological system of farming, especially in degraded landscapes. In addition to this, the locals now understand the need to protect riparian forests, community forest lands, sacred forests and water catchment areas.

As a result, they have in a participative manner classified these areas as protected zones in their participative land use zoning plan. More so, the vegetation cover of the project zone of intervention has significantly increased during this period, thanks to the planting of 112, 000 trees in degraded do my math homework farms. This will further help to increase soil fertility, conserve water, prevent soil erosion/landslides and support wildlife.

Indigenous farmers discover effective local insecticide

Some farmers in Njincha village, Noun Division,west Region of Cameroon have  drawn the attention of their counterparts,  as after so much research and experimenting, they now produce their own local insecticide. This insecticide has proven effective to them and a majority of farmers in the Noun Division.

According to Njoya Moustapha, one of the discoverers of the local insecticides, the main plant used in the production process is Tephrosia. Njoya Moustapha says, “Tephrosia is very toxic and kills insects in the farm. I prepare the treatment by fermenting Tephrosia plant in water for one week (Experiment A), I then soak tobacco separately in water (Experiment B) for about a week and mix the two experiments (Experiment C). I then drain experiment C with the use of a sift and pour them into pumps to serve as treatment (insecticides) on tomatoes, pepper and coffee. When this insecticide is sprayed on crops in the farm, you see how the different insects fall-off from the crops instantly. It is very effective” , he revealed.He testifies that the treatment allows their crops to yield more outputs, thus increasing their income levels. The treatment is affordable. This is because it takes less time and the plant grows naturally.The farmers in this village have been using this technique introduced by the technician, Njoya Moustapha for over a year and they are happy with the results they get. More farmers are gradually adopting the technique as they seek to improve on their productivity.Njoya Moustapha wishes that the technique be tested scientifically as they have no clue on the side effects the treatment can cause.Tephrosia is a genus flowering plant in the family fabaceae, the generic name is derived from a Greek word Tephros meaning “ash-colored,” referring to the greenish tint given to the leaves by their dense Trichomes.

   Tephrosia leaf

CAWI gives IDPs computer training for sustainability

Director of CAWI Lucia Nkembi (left) IDPs (middle )computer instructor Alang Paul (right)

The Humanitarian Division of the Centre for the Advancement of Women’s Initiatives (CAWI) has organized a two- week free computer training program for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Buea.
The training program which was advertised in churches and meeting groups in and around Buea has two modules.

Module one which ran from February 25th to 29th focused on Computer Basics, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Highlights of Module two from March 3_ 10  include Power Point Presentation and Introduction to Internet . The program is intended to economically empower IDPs for economic support and self-reliance. The first week and module recorded an attendance of ten participants; all women.

Working session under the supervision of the  director of CAWI

It is hoped that this course will equip trainees for the job market around the university and its environs as they were displaced from their home towns to Buea.  Under a competent trainer Mr. Alang Paul and directives from the Director of CAWI, the skills acquired by these IDPs will go a long way to financially sustain them and their immediate family.

Lovelyn Nesih; one of the program beneficiaries expressed her immersed gratitude as this program has helped her acquire knowledge and skills to work in a documentation which is the easiest job she can fine now to sustain herself. Participants are from diverse areas of the South West and North West Regions of Cameroon; the crisis affected regions of Cameroon. Notably Muyuka, Nkor- Noni, Lebialem, Ekona,Nguti amongst others.

As the second phase commences , increased enrollment is anticipated for the IDPs to acquire this long-term skill free of charge and which will in turn develop them and  improve on  their standard of living with a positive effect on their immediate families.

Cameroons Great Apes increasingly poached into extinction

 It is heart breaking but not surprising for environmental preservationists, to watch admirable species of plants and animals, go into extinction, but the situation of the Great Apes in Cameroon might not be a case worth folding arms and watching. Great Apes in Cameroon, especially in the Deng Deng National Park and Dja Biosphere Reserve Conservation Landscape are more likely in a crisis situation, as outrageous poachers have seemingly waged a dreadful war on the animals.

A huge number of great apes have been beheaded, shot by poachers,with their body parts sold for hot   cash by marauding hunters, while others have been used for food. I have been` coordinating the conservation of great apes for the past three years with The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), as the  Focal Point Manager for the Deng Deng-Dja conservation landscape .In our most recent survey, we recorded a high concentration of hunting activities in the park and several cases of apes slaughter reported in and around the park.  Globally, apes population trends are decreasing and estimates shows a more than 60% decrease in West Africa (Goodall, 2000).

 There are approximately 600 western lowland Gorillas and 200 western Chimpanzee’s population in the Deng Deng National park. These species are facing enormous anthropogenic pressure in and around the park. According to the Last Great Apes Association (LAGA), Gorillas and Chimpanzees were hunted mainly for bush meat and their babies captured and sold as pets. Recently cases have been reported where apes head, bones and limbs are removed and the full body for meat left behind.

Picture: MIMFOF Bertoua

These body parts are easily transported thereby encouraging poachers to kill more animals than previously done. More so, ecoguards who are posted in the area are students coming directly from school who face challenges translating theoretical knowledge into practice and hence, hunters exploit their limited skills to their advantage to encroach into the park.

 In addition, Diangha (2015) reported that the presence of Government, NGOs, Economic Operators and external development bodies in the area has promoted influx of human population leading to the high demand for bush meat. Therefore more efficient community education should be conducted to address the importance, role and benefits of communities in conservation of biodiversity.

The training of trainers on Forest Gardens

Trees for the Future, an American based NGO, together with ERuDeF organized a five day training course to train trainers in the Western part of Cameroon on the forest garden farming approach.

Forest garden is a multi-layered, integrated agricultural system, that combines diverse plants and animals into one area to sustainably produce a variety of products and environmental services. It is a system designed to resemble a forest ecosystem, which is one of the most productive systems on Earth. Forest gardens maximizes the use of both horizontal and vertical space, and can be tailored to nearly all agro ecological zones. Forest garden  system incorporates a wide variety of edible plants along with those that provide both timber and non-timber forest products. This design maximizes beneficial interactions and minimizes negative effects on each other.

The training which took place in Nkongsamba aims at equipping field technicians with the necessary skills and techniques on forest gardening. The technicians will in return train local farmers in their respective communities to develop their own forest gardens.

Overseeing the workshop was the Trees for the Future trainer for East Africa, Peter Kingori, and Louis Nkembi, CEO/President of ERuDeF who also doubles as the Country Director of Trees for the Future Program Cameroon.

During the training, participants were taught on the facilitation techniques and skills needed to aid mobilize, sensitize and inculcate the forest garden concepts to the farmers.  A total of 27 participants made up of  staff from ERuDeF, and other CSOs such as Adi Agro Development Cooperative Society with BOD (AADCOO-BOD),Operation Green Space(OGS), Global Hand amongst others were trained.

The training session was done in two phases, theoretical and practical. Training manuals and technical guide material were given to participants. The forest garden components/steps were extensively explained to the understanding of participants.

On the other hand a field visit to the Centre D’acceuil de Formation Jeunes pour le Development Durable Nkongsamba was carried out for practical demonstration to boost the participant’s knowledge of the concept through implementation. Activities such as nursery development, out planting, compositing, pruning, grafting and registration of farmers using the Taro works software was also carried out. The training ended with a take home message of innovation, collaboration, and effective communication as the watch word for a team success.

At the end of the training, participants were awarded certificates of participation.   

Number of Coronavirus cases triple in Cameroon as Cameroonians resist safety measures

The government of Cameroon through the Prime Minister’s office has regretted the lukewarm attitude of Cameroonians towards the COVID-19 killer virus irrespective of the measures put in place, by the government of Cameroon to curb the spread of the virus. The measures prescribed by the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Joseph Dion Ngute include the closure of land, sea, and air borders of Cameroon, suspension of schools, forbidding the gathering of more than 50 persons, closure of bars and restaurants as from 6pm and the prescription of stringent personal sanitation measures.

As it stands, Cameroon have registered about 66 cases of coronavirus, distributed as follows, 51 cases in Yaounde, 12 in Douala and 3 in Baffoussam. There are fears the virus may spread further if the measures put in place, except for the closure of schools are not respected to the later. Most bars, especially those far from the main streets are still opened, the gathering of more than 50 persons is still very much alive and personal hygiene is still a cause for concern.

local newspaper on the lukewarm attitude of Cameroonians towards the deadly Coronavirus.

government of Cameroon, as part of the ways to enforce the measures to limit
the spread of coronavirus has prescribed up to 3 months of imprisonment to
defaulters of safety rules prescribed by the government.

The Prime Minister of Cameroon has equally debunked rumors propagated on social media that there will be a complete shutdown of the nation in response to the geometric spread of the virus. PM, Joseph Dion Ngute is quoted as saying in CRTV prime time news as; “…No decision to confine the population totally or partially has been prescribed by the head of state so far…nevertheless is essential to limit the gatherings and nonessential movement and to respect the instructions already given”, the pm quipped.

Cameroon's PM, Joseph Dion Ngute. Picture: Journal du Cameroun

Cameroon’s minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachie equally confirmed 13 of the 65 passengers of the flight that entered Cameroon on the 17 of March 2020 have been tested positive of Coronavirus. He further called on Cameroonians to remain vigilant.

Minister's tweet

There are equally unconfirmed reports that those quarantined are bribing their ways out in Cameroon. If this allegation is true, Cameroon maybe the next hotspot of the deadly virus in Africa.

Global COVID-19 cases, deaths on the rise

Coronavirus related cases are on the rise around the globe, with Italy being the epicenter of the deadly virus. Protective measures are being taken by various governments all over the world to curb its spread. Despite these measures put in place, the deadly virus is spreading in leaps and bounce, putting humanity in a tight … Read more