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05 August 2013

BCT micro loans helping farmers and local business people alleviate poverty

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Farmers and local business people queue to get loans

The Biodiversity Community Trust (BCT) is the community arm of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)'s Forest Protection Fund (FoProF) Program. It was re-organised in 2010 to give financial support for income generating activities to forest adjacent communities as a means of reducing human pressure on the forest.

Just over two years since BCT started giving out micro loans, farmers and local business men in and around Buea, have expressed satisfaction to the quality services BCT offers and testified how BCT has helped them alleviate poverty.

They made this confession recently to the Financial Manager of BCT, Ms. Nkeng Ursula, as she went visiting projects/businesses supported by this micro-finance.

A Molyko-based Restaurant Attendant, Frida Molulu, after being with BCT for close to a year, testified; "I had some financial hardship that almost stopped me from supplying food to the University of Buea-my only source of livelihood. I turned to my bank and they said I have only a savings account and could not receive loans. However when I went to BCT, they readily gave me a loan and it was such a great relief to me". Ms. Molulu recounted.

Another business woman in Molyko, Julie Tangi, said "I like BCT because it is reliable. Each time I need to loan money, I can be sure of getting it from BCT. I have not had any difficulties in my business. So I must say thank you".

A dealer in electronics and jewelleries in Buea Town, Noah Dong, was impressed with the training and lucrative business ideas BCT gives her members. "BCT usually organizes workshop to teach us about good business ideas and besides, their interest rate is very low compared to many financial houses in the country" he added.

Another Molyko based business man, Mr. Eric Nkeng divulged that BCT is very unique from other micro-finance institutions in the country because it has the members at heart. According to him, BCT gives short term loans at very minimal interest rate and follows up to ensure that the money is used for the purpose it was intended. "A good number of friends in and around Buea have testified of the impact BCT has made in their businesses and ventures in live. If BCT should continue this way, I think many more people will get loans for income generating activities and the rate of criminality and destruction of the forest on Mt Cameroon will greatly reduce in this town" He added.

A Farmer and Fruit seller in Buea Town, Mourine Awah, lauded the institution for its trustworthiness and promised abiding by her terms of receiving loans, which is limiting her going to the forest.

Mrs Nkeng in response thanked all members for their devotedness and trust for the institution. She promised them better services and more financial aid as the days go by.

By Ndimuh B. Shancho