[one_half][/one_half]US based charity Trees for the Future, Cameroon programme would this year donate 10 Neem (Azadirachta indica) tree seeds, locally called dogoyaro to the inhabitants of Ikiliwindi, a small village in the Meme sub division of the South West Region to replace the lone neem tree which was chopped off by locals of this community for medicinal and other purposes. The decision was made known recently by Trees Cameroon agro forester, Payong Marquise during the planning meeting for activities for 2013 held in the head office of the country programme in Buea. Ms Payong explained that the decision resulted from the observation that the Trees Cameroon team had in 2012 of the only existing neem tree in the locality whose leaves, stems and roots have were completely chopped down by villagers for medicinal purpose.
She said the people of Ikiliwindi used the plant in treating diabetes, AIDS, cancer, heart disease and fight against skin infections, malaria, ulcers, and hepatitis. Its oil leaves and extracts are used to manufacture health and beauty care products like soaps, bath powders, shampoos, lotions, creams and toothpastes. It equally treats chickenpox, treat foot fungi. The tree is equally used as a compost ingredient and farmers of this locality have used it to improve on their soil and yields. Growing Neem trees improves the water holding capacity and nutrient level of soils. It can bring acid soils back to natural state. Neem oil in the western world is known and valued as an effective insecticide. One of the villagers says the tree has been very useful for her, hear her “Each time my child had an ulcer, I used the leaves of dogoyaro and within days it is healed, even when I suffer from malaria, I boil the back of the tree and drink and that’s all. One cannot blame villagers for chopping this tree right down to the roots because everyone used it for its own purpose”
Ms Payong explained that it is because of this medicinal importance that Trees Cameroon has decided to introduce this plant to the rural farmers so as to reduce cost spending in the hospital and saving more income for other beneficial activities hear her “Cameroon is still unfamiliar with this plant, even in the Northern part of the Country where Neem is grown, it medicinal potentials are not known yet. It is widely used just for road decoration in Cameroon especially along the streets of Maroua. We want to plant more of this tree to help local people”
The neem tree it would be recalled is a fast growing and long living tree. It is a tall evergreen tree with small bright green leaves. It easily grows in the dry, stony, shallow and clavey soils. It needs very little water and plenty of sunlight. It grows slowly during the first year of planting. The young tree cannot tolerate excessive cold. It is widely grown and commonly used in Indian. Indians believe that Neem the goddess of Chickenpox lives in Neem. Each part of the Neem tree has some medicinal property and other important uses.Neem tree is also a fantastic shade!
By Payong Marquise