[one_third][/one_third]Environmental conservationists have lamented over severe negative repercussions the Anglophone crisis has had on Environmental Education in Lebialem. Speaking recently in Lebialem, the conservationists mainly from the Education for Sustainable Development Programme (ESD), at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), indicated repeated ghost towns adorned with school boycotts have had untold effects on the sensitization process of the population, about sustainable management of the environment.
According to the Manager of the ESD programme at ERuDeF, Samuel Ngueping, the advent of the Anglophone crisis since 2016,has caused schools in Lebialem Division to remain shut down, thereby keeping away the bulk of the programme’s target. To him, the situation is further compounded by the deserted nature of the markets and public structures, hence, educating the population is pretty difficult.
“Our primary target in the ESD programme are youths of school going ages. We have been engaging them on a lot of capacity building activities on the environment. Unfortunately, schools remain shut down and the learners are nowhere to be found in the quarters. As a result of this, the premises of schools in Lebialem Division have been transformed into a secondary forests by unwanted plants and grass. Thepresence of the weeds have created an atmosphere of competition for nutrients, with trees planted by students and pupils in their campuses, thus,reducing the survival rate of these trees. Besides tree planting, the other mentioned activities above are still in a halt, since those with whom these activities are to be carried out with are now taken refuge in their houses, bushes and others in military detention,” Samuel Ngueping said.
The Environmental Conservationist flanked by his collaborators, have send a clarion call to all stakeholders concerned with bringing an end to the crisis, to engage in meaningful dialogue, that will bring to an end of the impasse.
“We use this medium to call on the government of Cameroon in particular, and all warring factions to bury pride and arrogance, so a meaningful dialogue can be achieved. It is only going to be on this basis that we shall children back to school, hence, continue with our sustainable environmental management campaign. This situation to a certain extent, has frustrated the goal and mission of the ESD programme with regards to Environmental Education in schools. We hope to have kids go back to school not before long,” Samuel Ngueping said.
In the meantime, the ESD manager disclosed other measures put in place to contain the adversities caused by the social stalemate in Lebialem.
“To uphold the goal and mission of ERuDeF, weare carrying out round weeding of trees in schools. With the numerous schools in Lebialem Division, it is very difficult to meet with the tasks which was carried by students and pupils in their respective schools.Also, we join rallies and educate people on environmental issues.
The Education for Sustainable development programme, is a component of a greater biodiversity conservation ambition of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). It uses basic capacity building techniques to resolve global environmental issues such as climate change, conservation of plants and animals species and the protection of ecosystems.
In the domain of school, the activities carried out include: establishment of forest gardens, Arts and Culture, tree planting and weeding, Wildlife Advocacy Week, organizing seminars for Environmental Educators. It should be noted that the smooth running of these activities is guaranteed with the engagement of students. This engagement of schools and ERuDeF is bonded by a memorandum of understanding.