|Innocent kids intercepted by Gendarmes at Sop|
Last month, the US Embassy in collaboration with Hope for the Needy Association-HOFNA and the Mandela Washington Fellows organized a sensitization workshop in Nkambe, the Divisional Headquarters of Donga Mantung Division with administrators, traditional rulers and community leaders to curb the phenomenon of child labour/trafficking.
In line with this drive to combat child labour/trafficking, a man and his wife are currently in detention at the Nkambe Prison for allegedly trafficking minors to work in cocoa plantations in the Centre Region. The suspected traffickers, Agnes Buinda (wife) and Dairu Sanda (husband) were intercepted with six minors by Gendarmeries at Sop in Bui Division on February 23, 2015. Upon arrival at Ndu, they were ferried to Nkambe and detent on the instructions of the Senior State Counsel for Donga Mantung. The kids whose ages range between 15, 14, 12, 8 and even 5 years were from Nwa Sub Division en route to Yaounde. Two of the kids, we gathered are from Mambo while four others are from Mfe village. When interrogated, couple claimed that they were relatives who were taking them to Yaounde to help them learn a trade, (bike repairs) yet confirmed they run a large cocoa farm in the Centre region. The kids were trusted to the Ndu council Mayor Bunyui Emmanuel.
As we put this story on paper, sources linked to the State Counsel office in Nkambe hinted that the parents of the six kids appeared before the state counsel for declaration and identification of the children. Yet they are still expected to reappear before the Court on March 5, 2015 while the suspected traffickers were remanded in detention. Rumour has it that, the parents claimed they were not aware of the fact that the law prohibits the notion of children being ferried to cities to work as house-helps or in plantations. Allegedly, Nwa Sub Division is currently the hub for child trafficking in Donga Mantung Division. This is however a call for concern given that there is an urgent need for the rural population in Nwa to be empowered on the phenomenon of child labour/ trafficking. When contacted, Christelle Bay, CEO of HOFNA lauded the efforts of the State Counsel for Donga Mantung as well as the Gendarmerie, mayor of Ndu in the fight against child labour.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)