Cassava production, bee keeping, piggery, palm oil production and Maize farming have been identified as key livelihood development needs of villages within the Nkongho-Mbo area of the proposed Bangwa-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary.These needs were identified during a trip to the Nkongho-Mbo area recently by staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) to carry out sensitization, identification and prioritization of village-based conservation livelihood projects that will be develop through value-chain. Aimed at improving on the livelihoods of those living in the Nkongho-Mbo area by changing their agricultural practices from subsistence to commercial agriculture, the project identification and prioritization exercise was carried out in Njungo, Ngientu, Mbemfe, Fonki, Lebock, Lebeh, and Nzeleted villages.
The local populations of these villages were very excited and saw the exercise as an opportunity ERuDeF has brought to their door steps. “ERuDeF has put smile on our faces and made us have hope for development in our villages,” some of the village inhabitants hinted during the project identification and prioritization exercise. They promised full collaboration.
These projects identified are very economically viable and thus if develop upon will bring sustainable development in these villages and thus improve on their livelihoods. This will in effect reduce their pressure on the forest and thus conserve biodiversity.
Meanwhile ERuDeF staff promised to give the villages technical assistance in the form of marketing research, provision of beehives to the various villages, training of the villagers on the projects chosen, machinery for transformation of farm produce and micro credit provision through the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative.