|Coordinator of SURUDEV Kari Jackson in white|
Early this month, the Sustainable Run for Development-SURUDEV was honoured at the Buea Mountain Hotel as the Best Non Government Organization of the year for its trappings in protecting, preserving and conservation practices. This NGO has produced innovations in results-based approaches to agri-environment action that have been highlighted as good practices in rural development. This accolade came just to confirm what has been said. This is so because SURUDEV successfully ran and reported ten projects in the Bamenda highlands during the year 2015. These projects include: Sustainable management of water catchments whereby some four water catchmemts in the Bamemda I Sub Divisional council area were protected. In the Nkambe council area, SURUDEV engaged in the protection of the Nsahkop, Njemoh, Njemah water catchments as well as the Wowo catchment in Ndu Sub Division. SURUDEV planted close to 10.000 trees in these catchmemts.
The Second Project dubbed Trees for Generations was realized with the putting in place of a conservation plan for the protection of the Sacred forest in Luh Fon's palace. Some 1000 medicinal trees were planted in degraded portions of portions of the sacred forest. The project was realized with the partnership of the Wimbum Students Union. This was during their 35th annal convention that took place in Luh village.
In the domain of Sustainable Agro Forestry, SURUDEV also contributed enormously in building self-reliant communities in the Bamenda Highlands. 30 communities and 13 farming groups planted over 50.000 trees of economic values to sustain their activities.
The forest gardening project also enriched lives in two communities in Donga Mantung Division. The Kungi and Bongom fish farmers were empowered on sustainable integrated fish breeding by including market gardening and fruit trees cultivation in their activities.
Working with kids in schools in order to promote the nation of tree planting has also been on the agenda of SURUDEV. The SURUDEV green school project was implemented in Ako and in Mezam Division. This project which is aimed at promoting environmental education within secondary schools has created its impact in GBHS Down Town, GSS Banzah, GBHS Nitop and GBHS Bayelle where over 1000 trees were planted by students to mitigate the phenomenon of Climate Change. More so, SURUDEV also distributed over 1000 books to schools environmental clubs thanks to a donation from its partners from the United States of America.
One of SURUDEV's innovative project that has attracted public attention was established and executed in Bongom village. The Sustainable Bio Farms recorded a success thanks to the efforts deployed by an experienced farm manager, Amungwa Victor. He used his wide experience under the supervision of SURUDEV to introduce water melon cultivation in Donga Mantung. The successes led to the cultivation of onions, okra, cucumber and huckleberry and more so, the bio farm is now a training centre for young boys and girls who want to take on market gardening as a reliable source of income. Besides, the sustainable livelihood programme also empowered and supported 30 widows in the Bamenda Highlands in sustainable farming.
The bird conservation project was also carried out in Ako Sub Division within the Mbembe Forest Reserve periphery whereby stakeholders were sensitized and empowered in the protection of endemic bird species. These birds include the green breasted bush-shrike, the mountain greenbull, the bannerman's turacos etc.
The Coordinator of SURUDEV, Kari Jackson says the communication and advocacy project now tops the chart given that it has provided them with the opportunity to sensitize the public on the community radios in the Bamenda highlands to get on the loop with environmental and climate change matters. Through this project, he said "we have also been able to produce our monthly ad e-newsletters". For more info visit www.surudev.org to have a tour of the bio demonstration farms which is serving as a training centre for youths and women. Harping on this year's activities, Kari added that " we are getting across all our other projects like last year with trees for the future, Pittsburgh Zoo amd PPG sustainability fund, the Sacramento Zoo and now the Global green grants".
The simplest explanation about why the environment matters is that, as humans, the environment-the Earth-is our home he says. "It is where we live, breathe, eat, raise our children, etc. Our entire life support system is dependent on the well-being of all of the species living on earth". It should be recalled that SURUDEV has won over 5 distinctions for doing extra ordinary things in protecting mother earth. Meet Kari Jackson and the first thing he will is that the deterioration of the environment, often referred to as environmental degradation, threatens the earth's natural resources such as clean water supply, fossil fuels for energy and food supply. Many of these resources he would always remind people are nonrenewable so when they run out the earth will be forced to find new alternatives. These new alternatives maybe difficult to function well reasons why we should act now if not the next generation will suffer. In schools, the key message to pupils and students is that the planet is in danger. According to SURUDEV, if we don't act now many to rescue species of animals and plants that are nearing distinction the clean water we drink to survive is at risk and more and more of our beautiful, open spaces are disappearing as new buildings and factories are built.
(Pictures that Speak)