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06 March 2014

Kugwe community donates six hectares of land to TREES Cameroon.

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Ben Addlestone examines piece of land

The people of Kugwe, of Batibo subdivision, Momo division, Northwest region have donated six hectares of land to the Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future to support its mission of agroforestry, forest garden approach and for program extension. The announcement was made on January, 12, 2014 in a welcome address by the Chairman of the Kugwe Project on behalf of the community during the visit of the Cameroon Desk Program Coordinator, Benjamin Addlestone and Prof. John Munsel from Virginia Tech. University to evaluate projects in Cameroon. He also pledged the continuous support and commitment of his community to the program. Speaking shortly after the meeting, Ben Addlestone expressed satisfaction on the donation of the piece of land "I assure you that the decision you made to donate this land is a wise one. The land would help the Kugwe population to extend the agroforestry program and continuously help to improve on soil fertility and consequently increase food security"

Just to note that Kugwe is one of the 200 communities receiving support from the US Charity, Trees for the Future Program activities in Cameroon. Members of this community came in contact with Trees for the Future Cameroon also referred to as TREES Cameroon, through their proactive and enthusiastic Quarter Head, Ayong Thomas through collaboration with a Northwest based NGO SIRDEP. Following this collaboration in 2010, community members benefited from a number of training sessions on nursery establishment, seed pre-treatment, transplanting and on-farm management, agroforestry seeds and were given tree planting equipments. They dedicated their time and energy in tree planting for various reasons including soil fertility improvement, fodder for livestock, live fences and medicine.

Because of their commitment and success in their tree planting activities, the Trees for the Future Cameroon Program Coordinator at the Trees for the Future Head office, Silver Spring Maryland, USA, Benjamin Addlestone decided to pay his maiden visit on the 10th of February, 2012. This visit spurred them even more and in 2013, these farmers planted over 12000 trees of Acacia, leucaena, Calliandra and Prunus africana in their farms and around two water catchments that support about 5 other communities in the subdivision.

Due to their hard work and hospitality, TREES Cameroon started to look for other opportunities that will complement their tree planting efforts and improve on their standards of living. This led to the identification of a hydro-electricity power project initiated by the community years back. Fortunately, TREES Cameroon came in contact with two organisations Satom Construction and SYFA who have demonstrated interest in supporting the tree planting project project.

The visit was crowned with a visit to the Eyong Forest Garden; one of the model agroforestry projects in the community, the hydro-electricity project site and the site newly donated to TREES Cameroon. The Cameroon Program Coordinator, Louis Nkembi used the opportunity to thank the community for their commitment to the project and promised to use the piece of land judiciously for the betterment of the community.

By Kingsly Neba