Planting a tree nowadays, is the best gift to humankind but planting the right tree at the right place and moment is giving life to humanity. The Community Initiative Group for Sustainable Development, a result-oriented and 2012 Award winner of the Rain Bird/ Intelligent Use of Water Award has taken tree planting to the Bambili water catchment in Mezam Division of the North West Region of Cameroon.
The trees were planted at the main water catchment with the participation of the Tubah Union for Peace, Progress and Prosperity-TUP3. Prof. Abety Peter, the Coordinator of TUP3 thanked Rain Bird/ Intelligent Use of Water Award (USA) for initiating such a life-changing program that is impacting on the lives of people around the world which his community has benefited thanks to CIGSUDev. Prof. Peter Abety also reiterated that the Bambili water catchment still needs over 20.000 trees to protect the main water catchment. He lamented that before the creation of TUP3 to promote sustainable actions, water problem in Tubah, water scarcity was already at crisis. “The main water ctachment where the trees are being planted serves the entire Sub Division and we will happily work with CIGSUDev to see that all the eucalyptus trees found in the watershed are also eradicated”.
On his part, the Coordinator of CIGSUDev Menkefor John enjoined Rain Bird/Intelligent Use of Water Award team for the timely support that will go a long way to improve on access to water in Bambili. He said Rain Bird/ Intelligent Use of Water Award has as objective to promote the sustainable use of water around the world. He frowned at the invasion of eucalyptus trees in water catchments and added that to plant is tree is very important but planting the right tree at the right place is more sustainable. He said the choice of the Bambili water catchment was due to the fact that the creation of the University of Bamenda and the Higher Technical Teachers Training College, the increasing population is facing the problem of water scarcity. This problem according to Mr. Menkefor John can only be resolved if water loving trees are planted at the catchment.
The trees planted included Grevilia Robusta, Protocapus, Vitex, Mahogany and Acacia. It should be noted that more than 80% of the water catchments in the North West Region are invaded by eucalyptus trees. The cultivation of eucalyptus trees in watersheds in the region has contributed enormously to the water crisis. In as much as the population depends on these trees for fuel wood, a mature eucalyptus tree planted around the catchment or watershed consumes as much as 400 liters of water in day. It has caused untold water shortage in areas like Nkambe-Donga Mantung Division, Kumbo-Bui Division, Tubah, Bamendakwe (Mezam) and some villages in Mechum.Grevilia Robusta is one of the trees that CIGSUDev is promoting in the region as the best replacement for eucalyptus. It is fast growing, water lovely and has the other features of the eucalyptus trees. Menkefor John says CIGSUDev will seek support from its partners like Rain Bird/ Intelligent Use of Water Award to set up a 50.000 Grevillia Robusta tree nursery to replace eucalyptus trees in water catchments in 2013.
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