By Fai Cassian Ndi
The signing of the Partnership Convention took place at the National Assembly on June 24, 2014 in the presence of the 1st Vice President, Hon. Hilarion Etong. Harping on the necessity of the partnership, the 1st Vice President of the National Assembly, personal representative of Hon. Cavaye Yeguie, saluted the efforts deployed by the Pan African Parliamentarians Network on Climate-PAPNCC and the National Community Driven Development Programme to combat the phenomenon of Climate change. According to Hon. Hilarion Etong, the devastating effects of climate change can only be checked through collective efforts and endeavours. He saluted the efforts deployed by the National Assembly of Cameroon in combating for a sane environment. Hon. Hilarion also reminded MPS and other stakeholders that there are two networks at National Assembly that ensures sustainable management of natural resources, (REPAR which is concerned with the sustainable management of Central African Ecosystem Forest and PAPNCC which from 2012 carried out series of concrete field activities to mitigate; combat climate change. “We have to be keen observers and vigilant to notice for example the effects of desertification”. He also mentioned the change in rainy and dry seasons, “some weeks ago, early rains were observed in the Extreme North and Northern Regions of Cameroon”. According, the farming calendar was almost frustrated, the 1st Vice President emphasized. To Hon. Hilarion Etong, “there is the need for a strategic fight in order to succeed. In line with the fight, REPAR he added signed a convention with the Cameroon Traditional Rulers Forum; Ministry of Women Affair and the Family to combat the phenomenon. He lauded the partnership convention between PAPNCC and PNDP which is intended to work with councils, rural communities, NGOs and other stakeholders in the mitigation process.
Hon. Awudu Mbaya, PAPNCC Executive President in landmark speech said that climate change is real and to combat its devastating effects, it demands collective efforts. He said the Pan African Parliamentarians Network on Climate Change “is aimed at drawing the
- First, climate change is the biggest threat to the survival of humanity in the 21st century
- The potential consequences of climate change can only be compare to those suffered during World Wars I & II”
He corroborated that some few years ago in the Northern part of Cameroon, one needed to dig a well of about 4m to get water, but today, it is difficult to find water between 100m to 150m below. “You are living witnesses of the sudden disappearance of Lake Chad. Other lakes around us are in the same situation. Rivers around us are fast disappearing and we are witnessing changing patterns in the cycle of the rainy season even in the Southern parts of Cameroon”, he lamented. “These signals are an indication that as one African leader said Africa could in a few years be faced with severe water shortage that could lead to a Water War whereby water would be rationed and people would fight to have even just a little to drink. At that time the cost of importing water would be more than that of food supplied War victims today”, he continued. Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian reiterated that the time to act is now. “One dollar or euro spent today in climate change is worth a million tomorrow” and prevention he cautioned is better than cure. Hon. Awudu Mbaya described the partnership convention with PNDP as a milestone which he said would be very productive for the welfare of the population. He said in the partnership with mayors of councils, PNDP will increasingly be an important link in the chain for development, dell-being of the people through the specific, strong and common struggle against the phenomenon of climate change.
On her part the Coordinator of National Community Driven Development Programme-PNDP, Magdeline Ngah said that partnership convention with PAPNCC was a high point in the fight against climate change. She said for the past years, PNDP has been working with councils to get to the grass root. PNDP she said has worked relentlessly in providing communities with classrooms, youth empowerment centres, water schemes, integrated health cenres, construct markets et cetera.
The Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development on his part said that Convention was in line with Government actions. Minister Hele Pierre also pointed out that humanity is facing a serious challenge which is climate change. He climate change mitigation is part of government policy in ensuring the welfare of the population.
It should be noted that present at the ceremony were the Minister of Environment, Hele Pierre, Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, Marie Therese Abena, Minister Delegate in Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Yaouba Abdoulaye and about 100 MPs witnessed the signing of the partnership convention between PAPNCC and PNDP.
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