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)

Friday, March 29, 2019

In Memory of Mami Nkiwa Pauline Jeh

Our Destination is the heavens, a place far greater than we know. For some its quicker, for others the journey is slow.  And when the journey finally ends, we will find an everlasting peace. Born in 1956, Mami Pauline Jeh would be remembered as the mother of mothers, fathers and the have not. By her actions, she was named the Mother Teresa of Misaje.  Alvert Einstein once said that “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive”. Mami Nkiwa Pauline was a woman who gave her all for the betterment of others. This could be testified by the number of persons who came to bide her farewell for she was genuinely a mother to all. She was a devoted Christian and one of the rare community leaders one can easily come across nowadays.
On March 2, 2019, she took the journey of no-returns to the heavens as she was laid to rest in Misaje. In his eulogy, Kingsley alias “delegue” wrote of her mother that “ If Roses grow in heaven, Lord, please pluck a bunch for me and place them in my mother's arms and tell her they are from me. Tell her I love her and miss her.
And when she turns to smile, Lord place a kiss on her cheeks and cuddle her for me because remembering her everyday is easy but as time goes by , the loneliness grows and creates an ache in my heart that will never go away. Fare you well Mami Nkiwa Pauline Jeh”  

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

Sunday, March 24, 2019

34th Anniversary of the CPDM: Thousands Pray, March for Peace in Misaje

The unity march condemns conflict, acts of violence and advocated for peace in the North West and South West regions. The 3 in 1 celebration that took place at the Misaje market square brought together militants and sympathizers of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement-CPDM who also invited the population of Misaje sub division to pray, walk, talk and strive for peace and unity in Cameroon. Led by the Donga Mantung IV Section Executives, Misaje mayor and his deputies, the population marched for over 2 kilometers starting from the ceremonial ground.
The celebrations started with an ecumenical service bringing together both Christians and Muslims of Misaje Sub Division. Gathered at the market square where they all prayed for peace to return in the North West and South West regions, the clergies who were drawn from of the various denominations as well as the Imam of Misaje and Dumbu called on God Almighty/Allah to urgently touch the minds of everyone so that there is a return to normalcy in North West and South West Regions. The 34 years of continued existence of the CPDM was this year celebrated with peculiarity.
Clarion Call for Peace
These militants who came from the 32 Sub Sections that make up Donga Mantung IV-Misaje used the anniversary ecumenical service and the March for Peace to call on President Paul Biya to ensue frank dialogue for serenity to return in the North West and South West Regions. They also called on the separatists to reach to the hand of fellowship extended by President Paul Biya calling on them to lay down arms.
Section President flanked by the Mayor
In a motion of support and encouragement addressed to President Paul Biya militants of Donga Mantung IV Section reechoed the necessity for peace given that in an atmosphere of stale familiarity development is not sustainable. “We the militants and sympathizers of the Donga Mantung IV Section of the CPDM, express our sincere gratitude and thanks to H.E President Paul Biya, for all the development projects  in this Section;  Call for inclusive and frank dialogue so as ro put an end to the Anglophone crisis”.  They used the opportunity to thank President Paul Biya for the reappointment of a son of the soil, Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry in his new government of great opportunities.
Those who could not read speeches emphasized through songs that the marriage between the CPDM and Misaje is total. To them, Misaje remains the bastion of the CPDM in Donga Mantung Division. They danced and celebrated the numerous development projects especially the extension of electricity from the National grid in Nkambe to Misaje, the solar panel energy project at Akweto, Chunghe – Mfume-Nkanchi, the construction of the grandstand, the opening of the road from Dumbu to Bisaula in Nigeria, the opening of the road to Bebekette and a host of other development projects. Addressing the crowd, CPDM Section President for Donga Mantung IV Section Tantoh Shey Alfred Nyako reminded Dr. Fuh Calistus Gentry that “Your Excellency, if this project is what took you into politics and to Yaounde then know that it is a legacy that will remain engraved in our hearts and minds and that your people are fully satisfied”.
Harping on this year’s anniversary theme, Tantoh Shey Alfred Nyako reminded the population of Misaje that more than ever, there is a need to promote and preserve national unity and in a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The values of peace, dialogue is primordial because as militants of the CPDM, they all need to be patriotic, law abiding and also encourage the spirit of living together as one nation in order to “further the harmonious implementation of the programme great opportunities” . He used the occasion to appeal to militants of the CPDM to prepare for the upcoming municipal, legislative and Regional elections, the later being launched for the very first time in the history of Cameroon. He also decried the fact that children are not going to school and requested that Misaje sub Division should be raised to a full flesh Division.
In each of these elections, Donga Mantung IV Section President noted that Misaje intends to participate and win with a great majority, as such, he also call on militants to register on the voters list. He expressed gratitude to H.E President Paul Biya for all the concessions he has made so far in a bid to find concrete and lasting solution to the crisis in the North West and South West Regions especially for the clarion call for separatists to drop arms. He continued by appealing on the Head of State to begin consultative and appeasement talks with the Anglophone community to initiate in the nearest future frank dialogue that will pave the way to end the crisis.
Bastion of the CPDM
Sammy Mbgata, the Mayor of Misaje on his part described Misaje as the bastion of the CPDM not only in Donga Mantung Division but in the North West Region. In the domain of development projects, the mayor cited the construction of a new grandstand worth FCFA 77 million, the powering of Akweto, Chunghe-Mfume-Nkanchi as government has provided solar panels to electrify those villages, the extension of the electrification project to Dumbu, the Bansobi and Dumbu water projects, the construction of market sheds at Akweto, Kibalaki and Chakoh. In the domain of road infrastructure, he announced the opening of the road from Misaje to Nigeria which according to him will give back to Dumbu town the economic livewire of Misaje its rightful. He also reiterated the fact that with decentralization, the council will be able for foster development endeavours in the municipality.

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