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28 April 2017

Classification of Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary:

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Njoagwi, Essoh-Attah, Lebang Fondoms Say ‘Yes’ To Creation!

Classification of Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary:

From Njoagwi, through Essoh-Attah, to Lebang Fondoms, the excitement, steam, and message were the same as inhabitants of the three main Fondoms adjacent to the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary massively mobilised themselves behind government for the classification of their forest into a protected area. This effervescence culminated in the writing of a motion of support by the inhabitants of each of the three Fondoms, which they transmitted through their chiefs indicating their acceptance classification of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary into a fully protected area to proceed.

Case of Njoagwi Fondom

With over 35 villagers taking part in the sensitisation exercise at the Njoagwi Fondom community hall, the indigenes were in high spirit in trumpeting the creation of a protected area adjacent to their community. From the youths, women, notables, Chiefs, and Fon, the call was the same; Njoagwi Fondom was ready to have the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, classified as a protected area.

Speaking on behalf of the Fondom, Fon Fotabong VL, indicated that Njoagwi will stand a great chance of benefitting from the socioeconomic benefits that come with the creation of a protected area.

“We are so happy to have a protected area at our backyard. I have a strong conviction that we shall witness a boost in our standard of living, with the coming of this project. My villagers are ready to leave hunting and encroaching into the earmarked area for classification, but all of that will be a reality if they have an alternative source of livelihood” Fon Fotabong VL stated.

Earlier on, the representative of youths, Fuanyi Paul, representative of women, Fotabong Rose, representative of Notables, FonkengCabrad, and representative of Chiefs, Leh George, all gave their blessings to the creation this proposed protected area.

Case of Essoh-Attah Fondom

The same steam and tempo, was held in Essoh-Attah Fondom where over 90 denizens answered present during the village sensitisation meeting.

The Fon, HRM Assontia Valentine Foretia, said his greatest wish has always been that his generations live to see the great wildlife varieties in the Essoh-Attah forest, an area whose wildlife population has been increasingly decreasing due to illegal hunting and destruction of species habitat.

“Essoh-Attah owns a rich forest with many variety of species found inside. Unfortunately, most of the species have been killed by hunters. I am optimistic that with the coming of this project, Essoh-Attah will have most of these animals live as long as possible so those coming after us can also see them,” Fon Assontia Valentine said.

The Fon equally indicated his Fondom will have more development with the classification of the proposed protected area. In the same light, the representative of youths, Assong Oliver, representative of women, Mama Azonyi Perpetua, representative of notables, Mr Mbeh John, and the representative of Chiefs, HRH Fominleke John, all threw their weight behind the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. Their different interventions and excitement during the meeting, was motivated by the socioeconomic and cultural development that will follow the creation of the proposed protected area.

Case of Lebang Fondom

More than 20 villagers thronged the palace of the Fon of Fontem in Azih, to be enlightened on the stakes in the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. The Fondom was not indifferent in the call for government to precipitate the classification process. Representing the Fon, Chief Dr Arong Alexander, said creating a protected area adjacent to the Lebang community, will be a great milestone in the conservation wildlife species in the area.

“The issue of creating a sanctuary is welcomed. It’s one of those activities particularly in the third world country, and for the next generation; to be able to conserve some animals where our children will be able to see in generations to come. On that scale and on behalf of the Fon who is unavoidably absent, the concept of the creation of a protected area adjacent to the Lebang Fondom, has been accepted. I can assure everyone present here that, the people of Lebang will follow government in the process leading to the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary,” Chief Dr Arong Alexander stated.

Earlier on, the youths represented by Tembang Bernard, women represented by Mama Grace Mua Fontem, Notables represented by Pa Bejilem Joseph, and chiefs, represented by HRH Fondu Ajong Sylvester, all in one accord, said the creation of the proposed sanctuary will greatly benefit the Lebang Fondom. They added their voices to the many in calling government to facilitate the process leading to the creation of the protected area.

A snapshot of Village to Village Sensitisation and Way forward

The village to village sensitisation was aimed at enlightening adjacent communities to the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary on government’s mechanisms in creating a protected area. Speaking during the sensitisation tour, the Southwest Regional Chief of Service for Wildlife and Protected Area, Nono Joseph, underscored what these communities stand to benefit from the creation of the site.

He schooled the adjacent communities on the legal implication and considerations regarding the classification of a protected area. He also explained to the various fondoms, the steps already taken by government in creating the site, and what is left to complete the process.

Mr Nono Joseph together with the communities carved out a map demarcating boundaries between the communities and the protected area.

For his part, the Director of Biodiversity and Protected Area Management and Head of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Western Cameroon Office, Allen Tabi, showcased the different biodiversity potentials the proposed protected area inhabits. He projected the ERuDeF’s achievements regarding the provision of sustainable alternative livelihoods to adjacent communities to this proposed protected area aimed at dissuading from intruding.

Meanwhile villagers asked questions regarding boundary demarcations and alternative livelihood sources and were satisfactorily clarified.

The village to village sensitisation was proceeded by a restitution meeting with the Divisional Officer for Fontem, Mr Djounda Joseph, and a curtsey visit to the Senior Divisional Officer for Lebialem, Mr Kouame Simon. The two government officials expressed happiness for the smooth running of the village to village sensitisation exercise. The divisional sensitisation meeting has been slated for end of April, 2017.

The proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is an over 6000 hectares forest area located between longitudes 586,000m and 596,000m and latitudes 598,000m and 606,000m. It is host to over 300 Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzees, over 100 forest elephants, Drills, Cross River gorillas, amongst others. The area is also home to some unknown plant species as well as globally threatened bird’s species. Contiguous to the Bayang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, this biodiversity hotspot is surrounded by three main fondoms, all located in the Lebialem Division.

The process leading to the creation of the protected area, is already at an advanced stage of completion. The Divisional Coordination Meeting will be proceeded with a letter to the Prime Minister and Head of Government of Cameroon, where the classification processes will be finalised.

The classification process of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is being facilitated by a Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with support from Rainforest Trust with supervision from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

28 April 2017

ERuDeF Donates 7.4 million Agroforestry Seeds To Farmers In Cameroon

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 ERuDeF Donates 7.4 million Agroforestry Seeds To Farmers In Cameroon

Over 7.4 million agroforestry seeds have been distributed across some 513 farmers in 72 farming groupsacross15 Divisions of the Northwest, Southwest, West, and Littoral Regions. Regional Coordinators of the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development in the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) distributed the seeds in March 2017 during a one-month tour across ERuDeF’s four Regions of agroforestry operations.

The seed species donated comprised of Acacia, Leucaena, Calliandra, Prunus and Moringa.Of the 7.4 million seeds distributed, the Northwest Region received about 3.6 million, 1.9 million to the Southwest and finally 2.1 million shared across the West and Littoral Regions.

The tour, which is one of the Department’s key activities for the first quarter of 2017, was aimed at sensitising farmers on new agroforestry techniques and to establish nurseries. During the sensitisation meetings, emphases were laid on the new Training and Extension Model and on the Institutional Development of Agroforestry Farmers Network for better understanding.

Based on 2016 performances, some farming groups received farm tools like spraying cans, spades, pit axe, machetesamong others. Meanwhile, vegetable seeds and watering cans were distributed to new farming groups.

As of now, 81 nurseries have been established with over seven million seeds nursed.The rest of the seeds are scheduled to be nursed in the months ahead.

Receiving the farm inputs and tools from the ERuDeF team, representatives of farming groups lauded the great strides ERuDeF is making in equipping farmers committed to the agroforestry practice, with the necessary tools needed to ease their job.

“We are so grateful for these seeds and farm tools ERuDeF gives us on regular basis. These inputs really aid our work. We have also been served with a lot of capacity building workshops, and demonstrations of how to plant agroforestry trees. All these things are done to us for free. We thank the management of ERuDeF, but we believe the special grace of God will continue to bless her so she can continue to put smiles on people’s faces,” Mboh Thomas of Batcham, representative of a farming group in the Northwest Region said.

They restated their determination to plant as many agroforestry trees as possible, and also to bring in more farming groups.

“We have as target to plant 3 million agroforestry trees this 2017. We, the farmers are not relenting our efforts. Our strategies cut across continuous sensitisation in our farming groups, planting as many trees as our farms can take, to name but these. We are determined to plant the trees together with other farmers in the other Divisions of Cameroon,” Mr Temzi Jean, technician of Menoua Division stated.

They also expressed gratitude to ERuDeF for distributing seeds of agroforestry tree such as Accacia, Luecaena and Prunus, among others.

“We are so grateful with the management of ERuDeF for accepting us into the agroforestry network. We shall join the many who are already there, to produce the required results. Just to indicate that we are determined to meet the 2017 goal of the Agroforestry Department, being to plant 3 million trees,” Mr Atem Ben, representative of a new farming group in Malende, Muyuka.

In collaboration with Trees for the Future, ERuDeF through its Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development, build the capacity and empower farmers across Cameroon on modern techniques of practicing agriculture, using agroforestry. The second quarter tour shall be dedicated to nursery monitoring and evaluation, including bare stem transplanting.

Payong Marquise

28 April 2017

ERuDeF Staff Elect Pioneer Staff Delegate

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ERuDeF Staff Elect Pioneer Staff Delegate

Staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have elected their pioneer staff delegate, Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh. He emerged victorious after a transparent and hitch free election conducted April 7, 2017, at the organisation’s Malingo branch office.

In a highly contested election with 3 aspirants for the position of staff delegate, Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh emerged victorious grabbing 19 of the 28 available votes.

In his acceptance speech, the staff delegate elect said, he is humbled to have been chosen by majority of the staff. He indicated that he shall be working with everyone for the betterment of the organisation

“I thank my fellow colleagues for entrusting me with such great responsibility and I plead that we all take our various tasks seriously. I also pledge to make sure all staff get what is due them and same with the administration so that at the end of the day, both staff and administration are satisfied as this will help the organization grow to higher heights,” Bertrand Shancho intimated.

He pledged to allocate suggestion boxes in each of ERuDeF’s offices so staff can deposit their queries or worries. He promised to make sure all worries raised by staff will be given appropriate intervention.

Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh besides his new position, serves as the Head of Communication at ERuDeF, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Green Vision Newspaper. He is also the Public Relations officer of ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies.

Conceding defeat, one of the contestants, Yanick Fonki, indicated that even though he is shocked by the overwhelming defeat, he is ready to work with the winner. He added that in an election, there can be only a single winner, reason why he conceded defeat and throws weight behind Bertrand Shancho.

“Though disappointed and shocked that my own people did not vote for me, all my support goes to Bertrand. I believe he has the potentials of driving the interest of each and every staff of this Organisation to another level. I shall propose all those goals I indicated in my manifesto to him. If he buys them, we would work together to implement,” Yanick Fonki said.

Accepting the newly elected and pioneer Staff Delegate at ERuDeF, the Senior Director of Administrations and Human Resources, Charles Tangie, said the importance of a staff delegate in the organisation cannot be over-emphasized. He called on the newly elected to get to work immediately and under-study the various interest of each staff so he can better represent them. According to the Human Resources Director, the new staff delegate will be fully installed by the Delegation of Labour sometime in 2018. He promised to accompany the new staff delegate to the Delegation of Labour and Social Security, so he could be properly drilled on his functions.

For her part, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ERuDeF, Ursula Nkeng, said ERuDeF priding itself as the leading conservation NGO in Cameroon and Africa, cannot be indifferent in the procedure of respecting the rights and social security of its workers. She indicated that the management of the Organisation shall provide the level ground for the new staff delegate to perform his duty.

The solemn occasion wrapped up with all present promising to work together for the betterment of ERuDeF.

By Melvis Takang Ma-Ebai

28 April 2017

Creation of Technical Committee For Tofala Management Plan Imminent

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 Creation of Technical Committee For Tofala Management Plan Imminent

A technical committee for the elaboration and validation of a Management Plan for the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary will soon be put in place by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF). This follows a letter addressed to the minister by the conservator of the said Sanctuary, Mr Thomas Njimin Amin, requesting the committee be setup as soon as possible.

The conservator’s letter comes on the heels of a two days meeting bringing together officials of the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, and the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). The meeting which took place, Tuesday April 11 and Wednesday April 12, 2017, was aimed at validating wildlife, socioeconomic, and mapping survey reports in view of the elaboration of a management plan for Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

Opening the meeting, Southwest Regional Delegate, Mr. Dipanda Issola Francois called on all stakeholders to put hands on deck so a concise management plan is carved out for the Tofala wildlife sanctuary. He pledged his total support and that of his collaborators in successfully ensuring that the plan is produced, and on time.

Participants were treated to tentative reports of the wildlife varieties, socioeconomic potentials, NTFPs, Maps, among others, found in and around the sanctuary. Following recommendations from participants, more research will be carried out to complete the already existing reports. To that effect, timelines were given to the different stakeholders responsible for the execution of the research.

It is hoped that by the end of May, all reports must have been completed and the technical committee formed. The committee will facilitate the processes leading to the development of the management plan.

The leading National NGO on conservation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is facilitating the entire exercise.

28 April 2017

Njoagwi Fondom Welcomes First Ever Vehicle

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Njoagwi Fondom Welcomes First Ever Vehicle

When the four wheeled pick-up vehicle belonging to the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) made its way into the Njoagwi palace Fon’s palace, it was a huge celebration from the excited population, who have never seen a vehicle driven successfully into their community.

It was March 27, 2017, the day ERuDeF had ear-marked for village sensitisation meeting in Njoagwi for the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. The villagers waited anxiously for their August visitors, but didn’t think even for a second that a car will accompany the visitors into the palace.

The road leading to Njoagwi Fondom from Abebue village in Essoh-Attah is in a pretty bad shape. The winding track meandering between slopes and rivers amid the slippery nature, makes driving very difficult, if not, impossible for vehicles to accelerate atop the fondom. Motorcyclists who even managed to reach the top, go through thick and thin before reaching their destination.

Through the driving expertise of ERuDeF senior chauffeur, Hine Kome, the team arrived Njoagwi community with the vehicle to the amazement of the entire villagers. Speaking on behalf of the Fondom, Fon, HRM Fotabong VL, said ERuDeF’s successful drive into the palace of Njoagwi, first of its kind, is a great joy to the community. He narrated several attempts vehicles have made at reaching the palace to no avail.

“We have had trucks, four wheeled cars and even motorbikes attempt to reach this palace but get stuck on the way. We are not happy that vehicles do not succeed to reach, but with your arrival here, we have renewed hopes that more cars will follow suite,” Chief Fotabong VL added.

In show of happiness, the Fon handed a bottle of champagne to the ERuDeF team for opening the ‘doors’ of the road for more vehicles to ascend.

The villagers were even more blissful to the arrival of the first ever car into their palace. Many surrounded the pic-up truck wanting to take a glance of the vehicle that braved the odds and succeeded in ascending into their community.

Quizzed on how he succeeded to mount pressure on the vehicle so it can climb up the palace of Njoagwi, Mr Hine Zico said he is familiar with hash terrain given his experienced got from similar roads in Kupe Muanenguba. He also said he motivated by the determination to transport all his personnel to their final destination, with no one dropping out. The 9 years old experienced driver, with humility, encouraged the Njoagwi youths to get into the steering and practice driving so they can all be transporting their fellow villagers into their countryside.

Njoagwi village, host to some 1,500 people, is situated at the slopes of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, Lebialem Division Southwest Cameroon. It is boarded to Abebue, Essoh-Attah in the North, Shancho, Dschang in the East, Andu, Lebang in West, and Mbetta, Nguti in the South.

28 April 2017

Creation of Proposed Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve:

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Technical Team Commences With Survey Reports

Creation of Proposed Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve:

A technical note incorporating a detailed socio-economic and livelihood prioritisation, biological and geographical surveys and historical facts of Mt Muanenguba will soon be established. This was the outcome of a technical meeting held at the Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, Moungo Division, Littoral of Cameroon, Thursday April 6, 2017. The meeting aimed at drawing up strategies leading to the classification of Mt. Muanenguba as a protected area, brought together a technical team from the Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), and the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF).

According to the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Moungo, Mr. NNA Francis, the technical note is very important in the process leading to the classification of Mt. Muanenguba as a protected site.

“It is very imperative for the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to sign the Public Notice document. The document paves way for the facilitating NGOs together with MINFOF officials to sensitise each village adjacent to the proposed area, on government’s intention to protect part of the forest. Without a Public Notice, some activities cannot proceed because they will be seen as illegal by the government. The document to be produced must contain a detailed socio-economic and livelihood prioritisation, biological and geographical surveys and historical facts of Mt Muanenguba,” Mr. NNA Francis said.

The Technical Team in building a road map with relation to the realisation of the project, strategized to complete socio-economic and livelihood prioritisation surveys in 16 villages adjacent to Mt. Muanenguba, an activity that is 80% completed. They also plan to complete the sensitisation of villages which had not been made aware, carryout biological and geographical surveys, as well as the history of the proposed protected area, create and train 16 village forest management committees (VFMCs) on collaborative forest management, among others.

The team also plans to recruit and train 12 community rangers & and organise a workshop on biodiversity & resource management. To further create dynamism in the Technical Team, it was unanimously agreed that two chiefs’ representative, one from Kupe Muanenguba and the other from Moungo Division be part of the team.

For the Director of CAMHERP-CBF, Dr Nono Legrand, the name Integral Ecological Reserve should not be used for the classification of the proposed protected area.

“An Integral Ecological Reserve is an area with full protection of its flora and fauna. A Sanctuary is an area where only designated animal or plants species are given full protection. So I propose for the name to be changed from Mt. Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve to Mt. Muanenguba Herpetological Sanctuary,” Dr Nono Legrand added.

While applauding the idea, the technical team proposed to discuss about the nomenclature change during their next technical meeting, billed for July 6, 2017.

Mount Muanenguba which cuts across the Southwest and Littoral regions of Cameroon is said to have a heterogeneous Ecosystem, harbouring 100 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles and 270 bird species amongst which 60% of them are endemic. The mountain with height of 2411 meters above sea level, suffers chronic threats from communities living adjacent to the mountain. Habitat degradation, which involves conversion of natural land for agricultural land through shifting cultivation, destruction of trees for commercial purposes, overgrazing and trespassing of cattle in streams and water ponds, collection of amphibian and reptile species, amongst others, are the main threats rocking the mountain.

Faced with all of these challenges, Cameroon’s leading conservation NGO, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), joined forces with the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) to conserve the rich biodiversity and Ecosystem of Mount Muanenguba with focus on Amphibians and Reptiles.

28 April 2017

Eco- Guards in Tofala Upgrades Skills on Use of Forest Surveillance, Patrol Equipment

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 Eco- Guards in Tofala Upgrades Skills on Use of Forest Surveillance, Patrol Equipment

Nine government Eco-Guards and local Rangers of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary have improved their capacity on the use of Global positioning System (GPS), cyber trackers and camera traps in patrol and forest surveillance. The training which took place in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary recently, was based on collecting and recording wildlife, poaching and encroachment data in the GPS and cyber tracker.

Participants also improved their capacity on the mode of operation of camera traps, installation techniques and retrieving of data from the camera traps. During the training, participants were given the privilege to practically use these equipment to collect data.

Speaking during the training, the Director of Biodiversity and Protected Area Management at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation, (ERuDeF), Enokenwa Allen Tabi, said the carrying out of routine surveillance in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is very important. He indicated that the training will equip the Eco-Guards with the necessary knowledge and tools to crack down on deviant behaviours and excesses in and around the sanctuary.

“The GPSs and cyber trackers will help the Eco-Guards to carryout patrol and surveillance in the sanctuary. Patrol and forest surveillance will enable the eco-guards to identify trends on wildlife species, poaching and encroachment activities in the forest. The data that will be inputted in the GPS and Cyber Trackers, will be downloaded for analysis and necessary actions taken. This can be used to facilitate effective management of the sanctuary,” Mr Tabi said.

The Eco-Guards, promised to use the knowledge gathered to patrol and survey the forest with all technicality. “I shall use the knowledge got from this training to effectively keep Tofala safe from poachers and encroachers,” Elebe Christian, an eco-guard said

They expressed sincere gratitude to the management of ERuDeF, for always standing by the government for the management of the sanctuary.

The Eco-Guards acknowledged that the training was necessary given that most of them are new recruits.

“Most of us are new to the sanctuary. With this training, we have learnt a lot that will help in our surveillance and patrol of the sanctuary. The exercise was more of orientation to me,” Placid, a ranger said.

For his part, the conservator of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Mr Amin Thomas, underscored the importance of such a training.

“I am very grateful for this training because it will enable those newly recruited eco-guards and the old once to improve their skills on the use of these patrol and forest surveillance equipment. These will go a long way to help us collect quality data that will be usedto effectively manage the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary,” Mr Amin said

He also pledged on behalf of government, to provide a vehicle, motorcycles, GPS and other patrol and forest surveillance equipment that will enable the effective patrol of the Sanctuary.He went further to thank the management of ERuDeF the only national Non-Governmental Organisation operating in the area, as well as financial partners for supporting the Management of the Sanctuary.

Situated in the Lebialem highlands, Southwest Cameroon, the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary covers a total surface area of 8087 hectares and harbours two great apes species, the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilladiehli)and the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes elloiti). It also inhabits drills ( Mandrillusleucophaeus), and other threatened wildlife species. It is therefore fundamental to ensure the protection of these species by supporting the management of the Sanctuary.

By Allen Tabi

28 April 2017

Nkongho-Mbo Women Laud “Nkongho-Mbo Women Cooperative Society” Creation

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Nkongho-Mbo Women Laud “Nkongho-Mbo Women Cooperative Society” Creation

Women residing in and around the Nkongho-Mbo Area in Nguti Sub-Division, Kupe Muanenguba Division of Southwest Cameroon, have welcomed the initiative to create acooperativein their area. They accepted the initiative recently during a sensitisation and mobilisation outing by the Conservation Finance Officer of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Mr Njang Quddus. The sensitisation meeting brought together inhabitants of Mbemfe, Ngientu, Nzeleted, Lebock, Lebeh, Njungo and Fonki villages, who unanimously agreed to call the cooperative, the Nkongho-Mbo Women Cooperative Society. Speaking on behalf of the women, madam Thecla, indicated that creating a cooperative for women will greatly improve the women’s production and commercialisation of their produce. She lauded ERuDeF for bringing such initiative to their area and promised on behalf of the women, to work with the Organisation so conservation can be understood by all in the Nkongho-Mbo Area. “I am very happy with what ERuDeF is doing in this our community. I believe with this idea of creating women cooperative, our women will be able to work together so as to have high yield at same time have a ready and available market for its produce through the Social Business Division of ERuDeF that is the Silver Back company Ltd,” Mm Thecla said. Speaking to the women, the Conservation Finance Officer enumerated the importance of cooperatives. He indicated that when women come together to form a cooperative, their produce will be harnessed and sold bringing in huge profits. “Belonging to a cooperative is very important in the sense that your produce will be gathered together and sold as one, bringing in more profit than would have been the case if you sold alone. Other benefits like donation of farm tools and inputs from government and NGOs will be easier to get as a cooperative,” Mr Njang said. In line with ERuDeF’s Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative, the cooperative enterprise was to engage in cassava production and commercialisation through value chain development. The women were also briefed on the procedures involved in creating a cooperative up to the legalisation stage. A Caretaker Committee was put in place to mobilise the subscription of shares as well as carry out publicity as to permit massive registration of women as members. The Caretaker Committee was sub-divided into two, that is, the Management Committee and the Publicity Committee. The cost of a share was generally accepted to be 10,000 FRS and a registration fee of 2000 FRS. The idea to form a cooperative, it should be recalled, was first introduced to the Nkongho-Mbo people during a meeting held in Buea, January 23, 2017. The idea was generally welcomed by the chiefs and elites of Nkongho-Mbo present during the meeting. The creation of cooperatives are sustainable livelihood measures taken by ERuDeF to provide alternative sources of living to communities adjacent to the proposed Mak-Betchou Area. The project is being carried out by ERuDeF with the support of Rainforest Trust.

By: Njang Quddus

28 April 2017

Sixteen SW Farming Groups Integrated Into ERuDeF’s Agroforestry Programme

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 Sixteen SW Farming Groups Integrated Into ERuDeF’s Agroforestry Programme

Some16 new farming groups made up of over 70 farmers have been integrated into the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Southwest Cameroon Agroforestry Programme. They were accepted into the agroforestry family during a regional tour across Meme, Fako, Kupe Muanenguba and Lebialem Divisions of Southwest Cameroon paid recently by the ERuDeF Agroforestry Team.

The tour, aimed at building the capacity of farmers on nursery establishments and value of agroforestry farming techniques, also provided the agroforestry team the opportunity to renew partnership with old faming groups, and welcome committed new ones.

Speaking on behalf of one of the new groups, Millennium Group in Malende-Muyuka, Fako Division, Mr. Atem Ben, a seasoned yams and melon (Egusi) farmer, lauded ERuDeF’s strides in building their capacities on the agroforestry farming techniques. He thanked the management of ERuDeF and Partners for donating seeds of agroforestry tree species like Accacia, luecaena andPrunus, among others.

“Given that our soil have become infertile due to the huge inorganic chemicals, slash and burn, and even felling down of trees that some of us practice, these agro forestry seeds after planted will help to restore our soil” He added

On behalf of his farming group, Mr Atem said they will plant 200,000 agroforestry trees in their farms, this 2017. He pleaded with the management of ERuDeF to provide farmers with more Moringa seeds giving the rich medicinal property of the plant.

The representative of another farming group, Devoted Young Farmers in Ikiliwindi in Kumba-Meme Division, Mr Kome Moses, said his group is made up of very astute young minds who are devoted to making high yields. He affirmed his group’s firm participation in the programme.

“We are very young and committed youths who came together for the mere fact of making it big in agriculture. I promise you that your accepting us would not go in vain. We shall be very committed to planting of trees. We can’t promise you more, but count on us,” Mr Kome Moses said.

Mr Palle Augustine of the Kobi Mukam Water Catchment in Ekambeng in Kupe Muanenguba Division, also promised on behalf of his group to be very committed into the agroforestry programme.

Accepting the new farming groups into the agroforestry programme, ERuDeF’s South West Agroforestry Coordinator, Mr Ngome Emmanuel, said his Organisation is out to empower committed farmers with the necessary agroforestry tools needed for them to make huge harvest. He urged the farmers to be assiduous in their activities, and be rest assured, the management of ERuDeF will provide all necessary tools needed for them to own farms with rich soils, hence making them acquire sustainable harvest.

“Planting of agroforestry trees will not only increase your yields geometrically after three years, but also provide your farms with micro-climate that will play essential roles in the reduction of soil transpiration, fight against insect pest and the mitigation of climate change. With the coming of agroforestry techniques, you all will witness high crop yields, and increase in your household income,” Mr Ngome added.

The farmers were encouraged with watering Cans, agro forestry seeds, rain boots, T- shirts, and calendars. He promised to furnish more farmers with other seeds, especially the Moringa plant which was so much loved by majority of the farmers.

The agroforestry programme falls in line with ERuDeF and Trees for the Future’s drive of planting millions of trees useful to local farmers, which can also increase their household income.

Emmanuel Ngome

28 April 2017

ERuDeF, Revitalising Agroforestry Farmers’ Network in Cameroon

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 ERuDeF, Revitalising Agroforestry Farmers’ Network in Cameroon

Farming groups across the 15 divisions where the Environment and Rural Development foundation (ERuDeF) is carrying out agroforestry activities have been called upon to reconstitute themselves and revitalise the Agroforestry Farmers Network created in 2010.

This call was made by Regional Coordinators of the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development at ERuDeF during a one month tour across 72 farming groups in the Northwest, Southwest, West, and Littoral Regions in March 2017.

According to the Director of the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development at ERuDeF, Madam Tionou Prudence, reinforcing these networks is one of ERuDeF’s priorities in 2017.

“ERuDeF in collaboration with Trees for the Future, in 2010, created some 15 Agroforestry Farmers’ Networks representing the 15 divisions where agroforestry activities are being carried out. It was rather unfortunate that most of these networks lose focus because financial support from ERuDeF was no longer coming. Kudos to the Fako Agroforestry Farmers Network which stood tall and continued to put in all efforts to make sure their network remains functional till date. For the other hibernated networks, we are looking forward to reinforcing them so all the benefits that usually come with networks, can be enjoyed by all farming groups,” Madam Tionou said.

She added that “a comprehensive article of association will be produced and distributed to all networks to ensure that they all have one goal and one interest.”

In 2010, some eight networks completed the formality process. The Fako Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Meme Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Menchum Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Mezam Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Haut-Nkam Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Menoua Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Ngoketunjia Agroforestry Farmers Network and the Boyo Agroforestry Farmers Network, were all legalised under Cameroon’s law of association, and owned a bank account, where they carryout monthly savings during their meetings. ERuDeF supported the Networks with some minimum finances every quarter of the year. Unfortunately, only the Fako Network for the past six years, remained active, holding regular monthly meetings. ERuDeF supported The Fako Agroforestry Farmers Network with 700 polythene bags following their request in March 2017.

The building ofrigid Networks across all of ERuDeF’s area of agroforestry operation, comes on the heels of the Organisation’s intention to join the Agroforestry Alliance of Africa.

Payong Marquise

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