|SURUDEV Director Kari at Bongom Onion Bio Farms|
A Bamenda based organization has been awarded over $ 17000 to carryout biodiversity conservation in the Oom-Wum forest in Menchum Division of the North West Region.
The project which is aimed at conserving the Pan troglodytes ellioti in the Oom-wum forest also engages adjacent forest users in alternative income generation activities, tree planting, sensitization of some 10.000 community members with chimp posters, junior secondary school students with chimp handbooks, reconnaissance survey of Chimp nests among other activities. Kari Jackson says this is the only generation that is feeling the impacts of climate change and that something has to be done about conservation practices if not this generation will have nothing to hand to the next one. “How can we fight the phenomenon of poaching, illegal logging, poor farming, forest encroachment without involving those whose mindsets are still a threat to these forests and its biodiversity? Remember you cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them and you help them to understand that these resources are their own and they must protect them” Kari added. He also expressed gratitude to the commitment of the Arcus foundation, for supporting SURUDEV efforts in encouraging biodiversity conservation in the Bamenda highlands. He said that SURUDEV Bio Farms-Bongom continues to inspire youths and communities in practicalities in mitigating climate change. “After harvesting our onions of over 10 tons, we have earmarked to kick start water melon harvesting next week. Sales are encouraging and we intend to train more widows in the upcoming season and plant more 2000 trees”. According to Kari Jackson, the bio farms have enabled them to raise enough funds to be able hire office spaces in Bamenda and Nkambe. He said SURUDEV will equally be launching a new and more flexible web site www.surudev.org, was well as kickstart an e-newsletter as well as a print newsletter. These, he emphasized is aimed at highlighting the works of SURUDEV, other international and local environmental news that is vital for the community. And he concluded that this year was a very successful year for SURUDEV “and we hope to do better next year given that we served some communities with over 10 projects and hope to improve on our services and the number of communities too”.
Pictures below show the results of the first onion harvested at Bongom thanks to the efforts of SURUDEV Bio Farms (Farmers introduced to the marketing gardening of a crop they thought could never grow in their area)
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)