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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

President Biya's Speech to the Nation, Sept 10, 2019


PRESIDENT BIYA'S SPEECH TO THE NATION

Fellow Cameroonians,

My Dear Compatriots,

For close to three years now, the North-West and South-West Regions of our country have been going through a crisis that not only jeopardizes the safety and        well-being of the population living there, but also has far-reaching consequences for the national community as a whole.

It should be recalled that the crisis was triggered by corporate demands made by lawyers and teachers calling for the translation of the OHADA Uniform Acts into English and the preservation of the specificity of the Anglo-Saxon judicial and educational systems in the two regions.

From the outset, and true to an option that I hold dear, I instructed the holding of dialogue between the Government and trade unions to seek appropriate solutions to these demands. The measures taken by the Government at the end of these consultations went well beyond the initial demands and include:

- the translation into English of the OHADA instruments which are now available in the two official languages;

- the creation of a Common Law Section at the Supreme Court to handle appeals filed against the decisions of lower courts in Common Law matters;

- regarding the training of judicial and legal officers, the creation of a Common Law Section at the National  School of Administration and Magistracy. This measure was accompanied by a programme for the recruitment of English-speaking pupil judicial and legal officers and court registrars;

- the launching of the special recruitment of bilingual teachers in secondary schools;

- at the level of the judiciary, the stay of proceedings against some persons arrested in connection with the demands;

- the setting up of a national Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and  Multi-culturalism to, among other things, carry out an in-depth review of all the sources of frustration suffered by our compatriots in the North-West and        South-West Regions.

Decisions were taken subsequently to fast-track the decentralization process, with the creation of a new ministry devoted thereto. The upcoming regional elections will complete the process by enabling our compatriots nationwide to fully participate in the management of their local affairs.

My Dear Compatriots,

Despite the efforts made by the Government, radical movements, mainly inspired from abroad, have exploited and distorted the corporate demands. They have thus hatched a secessionist plan to partition our country. In this regard, they have formed and financed armed groups that have caused untold harm to the population of the North-West and South-West Regions.

The whole world has witnessed the atrocities committed by these armed groups: maiming, beheading, assassination of elements of the Defence and Security Forces, administrative authorities and defenceless civilians, destruction of public infrastructure and buildings, and burning of schools, hospitals, etc.

I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to once again extend my heartfelt condolences and those of the entire Nation to those who have lost loved ones in the crisis. I also wish to send a message of comfort to the wounded and all those affected in one way or the other. I want to assure them that they can count on the solidarity of the Government of the Republic and the Nation as a whole.

My Dear Compatriots 

The atrocities committed by armed groups have forced thousands of our compatriots to seek refuge in other regions of the country and, for some, in neighbouring countries where they have been reduced to living under precarious conditions.

In the face of these intolerable acts, the Defence and Security Forces have taken energetic measures, often at the risk of their lives, to perform their duty of protecting citizens and their property.

These measures are currently bearing fruits with the improvement of security and the progressive resumption of economic activities in the two regions.

My Dear Compatriots,

Since the outbreak of this crisis, I have spared no effort, with the help of Cameroonians of good will, in seeking ways and means for its peaceful resolution.

In a bid to calm the situation, I even ordered the discontinuance of judicial proceedings pending before military tribunals against 289 persons arrested for offences committed during this crisis.

In the same vein, I extended a hand of peace to members of armed groups by calling on them to lay down their arms and benefit from the process of reintegration into society. A National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Committee was thus set up. Regional Disarmament Centres are gradually receiving many ex-combatants who willingly accept to lay down their arms.  We will continue to make the necessary efforts to fully operationalize this process.

At the humanitarian level, I decided to launch a large-scale assistance plan for our affected compatriots of the North-West and South-West Regions. I also established a Centre for the Coordination of Humanitarian Action for its implementation. I wish to thank our international partners for supporting us in this initiative.

My Dear Compatriots,

The supposed feeling of marginalization by the people of the North-West and South-West Regions has often been advanced to justify this crisis. On this score, I wish to remind our compatriots in these regions, but also to those in the other eight regions of Cameroon, that marginalization, exclusion or stigmatization have never guided the work of the various governments I have formed since I became president of our country. Though no human endeavour is perfect and, in a developing country like ours with multiple challenges and limited resources, many needs are still to be met, in all the regions.

With the massive support you gave me during the last presidential election, I intend to work relentlessly, with all the sons and daughters of our country, towards meeting the challenges we are facing in order to improve the welfare of our population, especially in terms of infrastructure, water and electricity supply, healthcare delivery and youth employment.

My Dear Compatriots,

On 4 January this year, I made a vast government reshuffle, particularly with the appointment of a new Prime Minister, Head of Government. As usual, the choice of these officials was mainly guided by their human and professional qualities, their competence and experience. However, I would like to underscore that as faithful as I have always been to the regional balance policy, I chose a Prime Minister who hails from the       South-West Region. His predecessor who served in that key position for nearly ten years was from the North-West Region. In fact, since 9 April 1992, Prime Ministers, Heads of Government, have been appointed from among the people of those two regions.

Despite all this, some people will continue to talk of marginalization of the people of these regions. It must be acknowledged that such is human nature and there will never be enough duty posts to satisfy all the regions, divisions, sub-divisions, towns, villages, families and citizens of our country. Any choice that is made will always cause joy whenever one is honoured, and disappointment when one is not.

It is, however, crucial for us to change our mentalities in this regard. Though it is necessary to consider regional balance in new countries with a diverse sociological composition like ours, it should be recalled that ministers and other officials are not appointed to serve only their regions, villages or families, but to serve the entire national community. They must serve the general interest and not specific interests.

That is why since I came to power, I have and will continue to wage a ruthless war against corruption and the embezzlement of public funds, and to promote good governance.

My Dear Compatriots,

Since the outbreak of the crisis in the North-West and South-West Regions, the term dialogue has never been so much talked about, used and even misused.

In and out of the country, people have made proposals and suggestions. Some are realistic while others are clearly less so. There has been a barrage of advice. Some smart, others based on interests. Some people dared to issue injunctions.

There have also been multiple and varied initiatives, most of them made by people of good faith, by countries or organizations that are truly concerned about the future of our country and the well-being of our people. I wish to thank them for their effort and token of friendship.

It is, however, worth noting that the proliferation of such initiatives was sometimes unfortunately based on simplistic and false ideas, born out of secessionist propaganda. Such is the case with the purported marginalization of Anglophones, persecution of the Anglophone minority by the Francophone majority, Government’s refusal to engage in dialogue preferring a military solution to the crisis or even ridiculous accusations of genocide.

Talking about dialogue per se, the issue has always been, with whom?

New information and communication technologies, especially social media networks, have unfortunately facilitated the advent of self-proclaimed leaders, extremists of all shades trying to achieve recognition using insult, threat, hate speech, violence and murder.

However, in no country in the world, has the killing of gendarmes or civilians, kidnapping, mutilation, molestation, burning, destruction of public infrastructure, prevention of children from going to school or people from going about their activities in peace ever been a source of legitimacy to represent or speak on behalf of the people, the very victims of such atrocities.

In democracy, only elections confer such legitimacy.

My Dear Compatriots,

The many consultations I have continued to hold on this crisis have enabled me to size up the strong desire of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions to return to a normal life, to be able once again to safely carry out their economic and social activities, to witness the return of refugees and displaced persons, and to see their children return to school. The Prime Minister’s recent tour of the two regions has helped to confirm this feeling.

I therefore strongly believe that the time has come to rally all well-thinking and constructive forces in our country and in the diaspora to make this desire come true.

That is why I have decided to convene, from the end of this month, a major national dialogue that will, in line with our Constitution, enable us to seek ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions, but also of all the other components of our Nation.

The dialogue in question will mainly concern the situation in the North-West and South-West Regions. Since it will focus on issues of national interest such as national unity, national integration and living together, it is obvious that it will not concern only the population of these two regions.

The dialogue will therefore rally all the sons and daughters of our beloved and beautiful country, Cameroon, to reflect on values that are dear to us, namely: peace, security, national unity and progress.

It will also focus on issues that can address the concerns of the population of the North-West and South-West Regions, as well as those of the other regions of our country such as bilingualism, cultural diversity and social cohesion, the reconstruction and development of conflict-affected areas, the return of refugees and displaced persons, the education and judicial system, decentralization and local development, the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, the role of the diaspora in the country’s development, etc.

The dialogue, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, will bring together a wide range of personalities: parliamentarians, politicians, opinion leaders, intellectuals, economic operators, traditional authorities, religious authorities, members of the diaspora, etc. Representatives of the Defence and Security Forces, armed groups and victims will also be invited.

Obviously, it will not be possible for everybody to effectively participate in this dialogue, but each person will have the opportunity to make a contribution.

Prior to the effective holding of the dialogue, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, will carry out broad-based consultations to solicit a wide range of views that will serve as a source of inspiration for the conduct of deliberations. In the coming days, delegations will also be dispatched to meet the diaspora to enable them to make their contribution to discussions on the resolution of the crisis.

In this regard, I am appealing to the patriotism and sense of responsibility of all our compatriots in the country and in the diaspora so that everyone, wherever they are, should seize this historic opportunity to help to steer our country on the path of peace, harmony, security and progress.

My Dear Compatriots,

The propaganda of secessionists has tried to present the recent court decisions taken against a number of our compatriots in the context of this crisis as an obstacle to the dialogue envisaged.

That is not the case. I also wish to use this opportunity to stress that respect for the rule of law and the fight against impunity are pillars in the consolidation of a State ruled by law to which we all aspire. Violating the rule of law and granting impunity to some citizens is paving the way for anarchy.

It is therefore crucial, at this stage, to dispel rumours that one can quietly loot, rape, burn, kidnap, maim, murder, in the hope that a possible dialogue will erase all these crimes and provide impunity to their perpetrators.

As shown by the experience of many countries in the world, such way of thinking will only encourage the perpetuation of violence in the crisis regions and even encourage it in crisis-free regions.

Admittedly, however, in the context of a dialogue, a peace process or national reconciliation, the possibility of pardon may be considered, under certain conditions.

It is equally true that in accordance with our Constitution, the Head of State is empowered to exercise the right of pardon.

It was, moreover, on the strength of this authority that I made a peace offer to members of armed groups during my recent swearing-in ceremony.

I wish to solemnly reiterate this offer today.  Those who voluntarily lay down their arms and place themselves at the disposal of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Centres have nothing to fear. Their fellow armed group members who are already there can testify to this. Conversely, those who persist in committing criminal acts and violating the laws of the Republic will have to contend with our Defence and Security Forces and will face the full force of those same laws.

The same applies to promoters of hate and violence who, comfortably settled in foreign countries with impunity, continue to incite murder and destruction. Let them know that sooner or later they will have to face justice.

I am appealing to the countries sheltering these extremists to take action against these criminals if they really care about the situation of the people of the North-West and South-West Regions.

Most of them no longer have Cameroonian nationality, but they spend their time raising funds to carry out terrorist acts in Cameroon, masterminding acts of arson, kidnappings and murder, and issuing calls aimed at preventing children from attending school and fellow citizens from going about their business peacefully.

My Dear Compatriots,

The entire national community has high expectations for the dialogue I have just announced and hopes that this will be an opportunity for our brothers and sisters in the North-West and South-West to close this particularly painful chapter, to forget their suffering and to return to normal life. It also hopes that our country will continue resolutely on the path of progress, through fruitful discussions on ways and means of creating conditions conducive to the optimal exploitation of natural resources and our country's enormous human potential. Therefore, we should all work towards a successful dialogue.

My Dear Compatriots,

Over the years, we have used our linguistic and cultural diversity, the talent of our sons and daughters, and our commendable efforts and sacrifices to build a solid country and a strong Nation. Together we have met many challenges and won uncountable victories. We have proven that united there is no difficulty we cannot overcome and no obstacle we cannot cross. We proved it yesterday. We will prove it again today and tomorrow. The future of our compatriots in the North-West and South-West Regions lies within our Republic.

Cameroon will remain one and indivisible.

Long Live Cameroon!

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Saturday, August 17, 2019

At the Official Launching of Donga Mantung Scholarship Fund: Minister Fuh Calistus Catapulted

The Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung, Nkwenti Simon Doh has officially launched the FCFA 15 million scholarship Fund code named Donga Mantung Scholarship Fund.  Funded by Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development to the tune of FCFA 15 million, the scholarship fund seeks to support students, pupils and teachers ahead of September school resumption. Addressing education stakeholders, pupils, students and parents at the official launching ceremony, the SDO for Donga Mantung applauded the benevolent gesture by minister Fuh Calistus Gentry to boost the reopening of schools in the division couple with the fact that many parents who are crippled by the crisis are unable to meet up with the school needs of their children. “We want to say that this is coming at an opportune moment and we want to encourage other elites who have similar ambitions for this fast and important division to also come on board. This scholarship scheme is definitely going to boost the moral of those who are willing to study but the crisis has pulled them down”. He continued that Minister Fuh Calistus Gentry has been offering scholarships desirous pupils and students of Donga Mantung but this year the amount has been raised to FCFA 15 million. “We have seen practically the distribution of the largess to those who merit and I want to use this occasion to also tell the willing pupils and students of this division that the administration will not spare any efforts in helping them where the need arises for effective resumption of schools. The last academic year has shown us that we are up to the task”. He concluded by reminding the population of Donga Mantung that “ there is nothing you can give a child that surpasses education”. Before commissioning into function the members of the coordination charged with overseeing the disbursement of the funds to beneficiaries, the SDO warned that any “mago-mago” wont be tolerated.
SDO for Donga Mantung
On her part Madame Ajara, 4th Deputy of Nkambe said that a gesture of such magnitude can only emanates from an intellectual of his caliber. She added that wherever the development of the mind passes, all other forms of development follows, she emphasized. She concluded reiterated that the “seed that was sown in Misaje some years back has gradually covered the whole division and we pray that it has come not to go but to stay until our illiteracy rate heats the highest level in the North West Region and why not Cameroon”. She concluded even before the crisis it has been the general wish of everyone to see such a gesture. 
Tarlishi OliverYinyu, the Divisional Delegate for Secondary Education and Coordinator of the scholarship fund in a presentation disclosed that the programme will be in three phases.  He said the second phase will be disbursed when schools have resumed while phase III will be encourage and reward outstanding teachers, students and pupils. In his statement, he was categorical that education is the key to the world. He said a child without education is like a bird without feathers given that education doesn’t only prepare the youths for a better future but it is life in itself.  He expressed gratitude to the funder, minister Fuh Calistus for his philanthropic gesture and added that those who give never lack.
The fon of Misaje on the other hand said thanked Dr. Fuh Calistus for his generosity of spirit which is a great step towards nation building. To him supporting the education of kids is the key to development that is why “we need to have people behind him who can be equivalent to him that is why we salute his gesture. I think this is an encouragement to other elites to see what they can also to in our community because a community like Donga Mantung cannot have just one elite who can afford this type of gesture. Many are more viable but        they have no concern for the education of our people. So, we don’t want to have an eye among the blind but many people who will be our overseers who will continue to think of the development of our division” he concluded.
Pa Cletus Nyeba, was categorical that Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry has demonstrated beyond reasonable
Madame Ajara: 4th Deputy Mayor Nkambe Council
doubts that he has the population at heart. “In my capacity as a parent and PTA chairman, I am very thankful to the minister for this great initiative. In my school where I am PTA chairman, we had only few teachers. And now that the scholarship will recruit teachers, I am leaving this hall very satisfied.”
The first beneficiaries expressed thanks and gratitude to the donor. “I was already thinking how the year would look like given that the parents are not viable due to the crisis. I already saw frustration ahead of me but God this donation by H.E Dr. Fuh Calistus has come to take me out from the stress”. Another beneficiary from Ako said she would like peace to return to the North West and South West so that there is an enabling environment for them to study. “We are praying that the powers that be, should hear us and give us peace because we want to go to school” he lamented.

It should be recalled that over 900 students and pupils attended the launching ceremony that took place at the Nkambe community hall. Those who took the challenge to attend the historic event went back more convinced than when they were going that the FCFA 15 million is purely a kind gesture with no political strings as beneficiaries were selected without any form of discrimination. Those who couldn’t have the opportunity to express themselves in speeches or interviews did so in songs. The euphoria was total as the people danced to the tones of the drumbeats to give a standing ovation the minister.  



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Back2School: Dr. Fuh Calistus Announces FCFA 15 Million Scholarship for Donga Mantung

Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development has announced a scholarship fund worth FCFA 15 million to egg on school resumption in Donga 7 revealed that the scholarship Fund aimed at stimulating effective school resumption will be launch in the days ahead in Nkambe, the Divisional Headquarters of Donga Mantung. Harping on the functionality of the fund, Dr. Fuh Calistus went further to relate that during the launching ceremony, the divisional services concerned will receive the first disbursements. This, he added is to egg on and support students, pupils and teachers to get hold of the basics for a better and effective school resumption. He also emphasized that the sum of FCFA 3 million will be given to each of the five sub Divisions that make up Donga Mantung. The funds, he continued will be disbursed in three phases. The first phase at the launching ceremony, the second phase be disbursed after follow-up and the third phase will be disbursed to encourage merit among teachers, students and even the Parent Teacher Associations.
On who will be the potential beneficiaries of the scholarship fund, Dr. Fuh Calistus told the Press that the intention is to support children of displaced parents, orphans and to support the recruitment of PTA teachers in localities where teachers have abandoned their duties because of the crisis. He concluded that the fund will be managed by the divisional services of education under the strict supervision of the Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung Division.

It should be recalled that the Donga Mantung Scholarship Fund is a reorientation of the Ako-Misaje Scholarship Fund.  


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 
2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry Announces FCFA 15 Million Scholarship Fund for Donga Mantung Div

Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development has announced a scholarship fund worth FCFA 15 million to egg on school resumption in Donga 7 revealed that the scholarship Fund aimed at stimulating effective school resumption will be launch in the days ahead in Nkambe, the Divisional Headquarters of Donga Mantung. Harping on the functionality of the fund, Dr. Fuh Calistus went further to relate that during the launching ceremony, the divisional services concerned will receive the first disbursements. This, he added is to egg on and support students, pupils and teachers to get hold of the basics for a better and effective school resumption. He also emphasized that the sum of FCFA 3 million will be given to each of the five sub Divisions that make up Donga Mantung. The funds, he continued will be disbursed in three phases. The first phase at the launching ceremony, the second phase be disbursed after follow-up and the third phase will be disbursed to encourage merit among teachers, students and even the Parent Teacher Associations.
On who will be the potential beneficiaries of the scholarship fund, Dr. Fuh Calistus told the Press that the intention is to support children of displaced parents, orphans and to support the recruitment of PTA teachers in localities where teachers have abandoned their duties because of the crisis. He concluded that the fund will be managed by the divisional services of education under the strict supervision of the Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung Division.

It should be recalled that the Donga Mantung Scholarship Fund is a reorientation of the Ako-Misaje Scholarship Fund.  


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 GCE Results Published


The 2019 results of tge General Certificate of Examination have been made public by the Cameroon GCE board. The results were  released on Monday, 29th July 2019.
According to the national state radio CRTV, a total number of 110,916 candidates registered for the examinations while 98,015 effectively wrote the examinations nationwide.
Statistics indicate that 66,846 passed recording a percentage pass rate of 74.24%
According to the GCE board, there was an 11.97 percentage improvement in the general performance of the examination compared to last year. In 2018, the success rate stood at 62.27% and this year it has increased to 74.24%.
AL/OL Pass Rates
The pass rate per level in the different examinations organised by the GCE board stands as follows
Advanced Levels Generals = 78.36% pass
Advanced Levels Technical = 89.34% pass
Ordinary Levels Generals = 62.15% pass
Advanced Levels Technical = 67.34%
SOURCE: CRTV

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Labour Day Celebration in Donga Mantung: Workers Call for Peace, Inclusive Dialogue to End Crisis in NW, SW



The Vice President of Donga Mantung Divisional Union of Trade Unions has appealed on government to engage in an inclusive dialogue to end the crisis in the North West and South West Regions. Comrade Langhi David, Vice President of Donga Mantung Divisional Union of Trade Unions made the clarion call at the Fon Jabpfu Ibrahim Nfor Grandstand in Nkambe at celebrations marking the 133rd International Labour Day, “we appeal to the government to listen to the cry of the citizen and engage in an inclusive dialogue to bring an end to the crisis in the Anglopne zones so that the internally displaced people should come back and carryout normal activities in their various communities. He lamented that “It is with a heavy heart that I welcome you today on the occasion of the international Labour Day celebration 2019. Heavy heart, because we are witnessing a very scanty population. We are in a situation where we are losing the most active and productive working population due to the ongoing socio-political crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon”, Langhi David continued. He added that many enterprises and businesses have closed, thereby creating serious unemployment and hardship in families.  He also used the opportunity to appeal to government to speed up the decentralization process in order to enable effective development in rural areas
Harping on this year’s theme, Langhi David also decried the fact that workers rights are violated by the employers. To him, “there is no social justice and when social justice is absent, there can be no decent work”. He used the chance also condemn the fact that some municipal treasurers are exploiting the current crisis to concentrate on their private businesses, maltreating workers and even depriving some workers of their hard earned salaries for no good reasons.
Addressing workers and trade unionists, the Senior Divisional officer for Donga Mantung on his part called on employers to make sure that workers are protected as vector of social justice and decent work in Cameroon. Mr. Simon Nkwenti called on employers to make sure that they provide health security for workers. He reminded workers that decent work can only take place in non-violence environment. Talking to the Press, the SDO for Donga Mantung expressed joy for the turnout and the merriment from workers despite the socio-political crisis rocking some of their enterprises and staying afloat. “We want to appreciate their efforts in celebrating their day and showing the world that Donga Mantung in spite of the crisis is still able to practice social dialogue in order to continue to make the enterprises and the industries function”. 

 The March for Peace of Misaje Achaba's Union that Ignited Hope on Labour Day 
Misaje Achaba’s Union March for Peace, Say Every Life Matters
Achaba riders from Misaje have expressed their desire to see peace returning to the North West and the South West Regions. The achaba riders in what their leaders described as “every life matters campaign” said the reason why they travelled to Nkambe was to show their attachment to peace and mutual co-existence. To them, their presence is to call for peace because “one single life lost is a great lost to the nation, region, division, sub division, village and family”. The more than 100 achaba riders who travelled to Nkambe to participate in this year’s international labour day were unanimous that Peace, Peace, Peace and Peace  is the only way for a decent working environment. “We are here today because we believe that there can be no decent work even in our villages. We stand for peace and we are calling on the powers that be to hear us. We are not for acts of violence and the killings because every life is important and matters”, one of their leaders told us. There was fanfare and euphoria as the over 100 riders settled for a drink. After the drink, the caravan took off for Misaje.  From the hills of Bansobi, the horns of the bikes echoed into the low lands of Kamane, Kidoung, Nkanchi and vibrated into the hills of Kibo, Chunghe and Bebekette as they approached Misaje town. When the caravan finally stormed Misaje, the entire town turned into a beehive of activities. Accompanying the noise from the running motor engines and the numerous from bike horns were voices chanting “We want peace in Cameroon”.
It is worth mentioning last March 24, 2019 Misaje marched for peace. The entire sub division echoed that more than ever, there is a need to promote and preserve national unity and in a peaceful and serene atmosphere. There was a clarion call for values of peace and dialogue as ingredient to patriotism, law abiding of living together.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Taylor Guitars Plants Trees in Cameroon

one of the ebony trees planted in Donga Mantung of the North West Region


Planting a tree nowadays they say is the greatest gift that anyone can give to humanity due to the phenomenon of climate change and global warming. The Ebony Project, an initiative of the US based Taylor Guitars has kick-started a tree planting project in Cameroon aimed at encouraging greater sustainability. It should be recalled that in 2011, Taylor Guitars took its biggest step to teamed up with the Spanish luthier supply company Madinter to purchase an ebony sawmill in Cameroon, thus becoming the world’s largest legal producer of legal ebony.
As part of the Ebony Project, Taylor has overseen the planting of ebony trees in Cameroon, including a recent batch of 1,500 and an equal number of fruit seedlings, at strategic spots in the dense rainforest. It is projected that an estimated 13,500 ebony trees are planned to be planted by the end of 2020. “The first trees were planted two years ago, and more were planted last year, Taylor says. “This year was incredibly rewarding, as we saw that the survival rate of the previously planted ebony was high, and that the plants had grown considerably. And this year’s plants are even stronger and heartier. Our confidence is high. The involved communities are happy. Honestly, it feels good.” Agroforestry farmers have applauded this initiative. To them, the project will go a long way to improve their standards of living as well as encourage the sustainable management of forest resources. To local government officials, the project is a laudable given that it will curb unemployment and stimulate tree planting in communities.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Climate Change: Hunger Feared as Prolonged Dry Season Hits Farming Community

 By Nfor B

effects of prolonged dry season on maize and vegetables

In recent years, many regions in Cameroon have witnessed sever changes, ranging from heavy down pour in some localities resulting to flood to prolonged dry season in others. The North West Region and especially Donga Mantung Division have not been left out of these drastic changes. There is abundant reason for the population of Donga Mantung who in a majority rely only on their farms to fear the worst . In the Nkambe plateau (Ndu and Nkambe) for example, the rain fell earlier and farmers planted as early as February 25, 2019 as compared to the previous years. This year, the rain fell too early than it has been the case and no one predicted it was a bad signal.
But the rains disappeared and the sky immediately turned blue in colour after the rains had poured continuously for four days. Those who were hoping to see the rains back by March 15th became frustrated as April showed it ugly nose without any drop of rain. This drastic change has had varied impact on the crops as majority of the crops withered and dried off while others did not even germinate. Tantoh Godwill, a young farmer says he is afraid that he will have to replant given that more than 70 percent of the seed could not germinate due to absence of the rain and extreme heat. “The situation is very precarious and I am afraid we may witness very low yield this year. I have noticed some strange insects destroying young crops in my farm. This is very strange indeed.” Mami Adela on her part predicted that if the prolonged dry season continues to two more weeks, she may lost about 30-40% of the crops that have survived the hardship. The situation has been so pathetic that some farmers want to give off replanting while a majority is struggling to mulch the dusty farms with the hope that the rains will finally come before the month of April ends.
Climate change is real
Notwithstanding, the Divisional Delegate of Agriculture and Rural Development for Donga Mantung Division, Ncham George had earlier warned farmers against early planting due to the changing weather patterns. Farmers who ignored the advice are today pointing accusing fingers at witches and wizards while traditionalists say it is the consequences of abominable acts. However, there have been diverse interpretations and varying contradictory views with regards to the cause of the prolonged dry season. In villages, what is common on the lips of everyone is that witches and wizards went up to the sky to block the rains in order for the population to suffer. Some villagers believe that witchcraft is one of the forces behind the prolonged dry season. And they are anxiously waiting to hear that someone will confuse to that effect as is common in villages. Rumours already went wild that witches and wizards have blocked the sky with rappers.
Another school of thought holds that the absence of the rains is as a result of the curse and abominations committed in the land. “The gods are not happy and our traditional rulers need to appease them”, Nchanji Julius says. To traditionalists like Nchanji, there is the need for the chief priests of the various villages to pour libations to cleanse the land of the bad deeds and practices.
Contrary to the irrational views that are being propagated in the rural areas, some farmers still have the belief that the absence of the rains has nothing to do with witchcraft or any acts of abomination. To them, it is the consequences of climate change and global warming.
Nonetheless, no matter the speculation as to the real cause of the prolonged dry season, one thing is certain that it is going to have far reaching effects on the farmers, communities and the nation as a whole.  Consequently, the poor performance of crops will definitely lead to famine as maize is considered as the only stable food. Besides, it is the only source of revenue to many households. This is so because good harvest signifies more into the family and food availability while a poor harvest emits hunger. Not only hunger, access to potable water has also been a problem. A source at the Nkambe district hospital hinted that the number of typhoid fever cases have tripled as compared to last year. The source further revealed that children are the most affected. Some streams and even inland fish ponds have dried off and farmers have lost almost everything.
Climate change is real and contrary to what many farmers in rural areas continue to speculate. And the effects will be more drastic in rural areas given that majority of the farmers continue to think that climate change is something that is happening far off away from their localities. It is a global problem that demands collective efforts as the effects of the phenomenon continue to spread around the globe. Thank God at the time of writing this piece the sky just turned darker indicating that it may rain.        


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)