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08 November 2013

The Environment and sustainable development in the Cameroon press

Posted in News, Views 1717

A Review of the 4th Edition of The Green Vision Newspaper

The Environment and sustainable development in the Cameroon press

 Korup National Park Declines as Gov't Drags Feet

In the October edition of The Green Vision Newspaper, the paper explores the deteriorating situation of one of the richest national parks in the country-Korup National Park. According to The Green Vision Newspaper, fingers are pointing at government for the deteriorating performance and management of the conservation hot spot and tourist destination. The paper reports that until some eight months ago, the Korup National Park straddling Mundemba in Ndian and Eyumojock in Manyu Divisions in the South West Region, seemed to be functioning fairly well.

The national park started a tailspin when anti-poaching patrols were cut down, fake cash receipts issued against false financial claims set in, The Green Vision has learnt.

"The management of Korup is failing and corruption is biting into the park's management. Normally, eco-guards are supposed to go for anti-poaching patrols for 20 days of the month and are supposed to receive 3000 frs cfa each as daily subsistence. But for the last eight months, since a new conservator was installed in December 2012, this has not been the case," reads a letter eco-guard Obellayukasong Darling Johnson wrote to the Programme for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, PSMNR, Buea, a copy of which The Green Vision procured

Bomboko Forest Reserve Falls to Encroachers

The Green Vision Newspaper equally reports about one of Cameroon's oldest forest reserves which has been abandoned by government and fallen into the hands of encroachers. According to the paper, the more than 500 hectares of forest reserve could have been saved if the government had not retrenched most of the workers in the 90s. Over 1000 infiltrators including farmers have practically elbowed out government in the Bomboko Forest Reserve in Mbonge Subdivision, SW Cameroon. The encroachers barked the trees, burnt them down, use chemicals to kill weed and planted cocoyams, cassava, plantains and other cash crops. The reserve that was created in 1939 provided employment for over 1500 workers who were gradually laid off. The Green Vision reports that what sealed the fate of the reserve began in the nineties when government retrenched most of the workers and left only a few forest guards to control the reserve. The natives and the population around who needed farmland plunged into the reserve and started farming. The Chief of Bomboko recalled having grown up and met the forest as a virgin forest. The forest had an immense wildlife population with lions and elephants but today, the animals are no longer there. The depletion of the forest the chief lamented has brought untold hardship and lack of water.

Poverty, Unemployment Drive wanton destruction of mangroves

The Green Vision reports that between 1980 and 2006, the country lost 28% of its mangrove forests to desperate warriors who cut them to survive. The paper explains that the harvesters go down deep into the creeks of the Tiko shores in the SW Region, cut the trees and haul them by canoe to the beaches for splitting into firewood for sale. The harvesters explained that they are aware of the negative impacts of cutting down these trees but they don't have a choice because it is their source of livelihood. Mangroves are supposed to contribute in protecting Cameroon from rising sea levels, floods and global warming. In a bid to intensify the conservation of marine biodiversity and reduce the depletion of the country's mangrove ecosystem,, the Minister of Environment, Nature Protection for sustainable development launched a 3billion frs cfa project for the conservation and sustainable management of mangroves ranging from Tiko creeks to Rio del Rey.

Muyuka Farmers Cry Out For 420-million Cassava Factory

The Green Vision equally takes the reader into the plight of Cassava Farmers in Muyuka Subdivision who were jilted by government of a 420-million Frs cfa cassava factory. According to the paper, Cassava Farmers in Muyuka, Fako Division, SW Cameroon had long given up trying to get government to build them a factory three years ago with a FIDA (International Fund for the Development of Agriculture) loan of 420 million frs cfa. The farmers have raised their voices once more urging government to act and make the cassava transforming factory not just a dream but a reality. The Farmers explained that once they were told a grant of 420million had been granted through the Cameroon's Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development to construct a factory, they knew finally they were going to be relieved from the burden of manual labour. The cassava factory which never got to the people was going to have mechanical peelers that could peel cassava, a grater component, cassava presser, pre-cleaner, rotary garri fryers and could crush 14 tons of garri a day. News of the coming of this factory caused the farmers to extend their farms with cassava which eventually got rotten. Yet three years on, the Farmers have not seen any machine and the land on which the factory was supposed to be constructed has been given out to a petrol station called BOCOM.

 

Compiled by Regina Fonjia Leke