Friday, December 18, 2015

Nkambe Council: Winifred Samba Elected First Deputy Mayor

Nkambe , Cameroon—Councilor Mrs. Murkwi Winifred Samba from Tabenken has been elected first deputy mayor of the Nkambe council in the Donga Mantung Division of the Northwest Region.

Mrs. Winifred Samba was voted by her colleagues at an extra-ordinary council session in Nkambe on Friday December 18, 2015.
Winifred Samba, First Deputy Mayor of Nkambe (Archives)

Though the lone candidate for the position, Mrs. Winifred Samba got ‘just’ 28 of the 38 valid votes. Eight (8) of the councilors present at the session did not vote in her favour while two others chose to cast empty ballots.

Two other councilors; Mrs. Nchuwa Monica Yuki and Mr. Michael Kimbi Mangeh aka ‘Dr. Bob’ stayed away without proxies. This reporter couldn’t independently confirm allegations that the duo was vexed haven both unsuccessfully attempted to run for mayor in 2013.

HRH Councilor Ngorake Valentine Nfor (also Fon of Wat) nominated Councilor Nforgwei John Tamfu from Mbabi-Wat who had nursed ambitions of running for the coveted first deputy mayor position but his nomination wasn’t seconded as required by law.

The new first deputy mayor replaces Mr. Shey Emmanuel Yunwe who died on October 4, 2015 at the Yaounde University Teaching Hospital (CHU) former CUSS.

Mrs. Winifred Samba has become the second female in the five-man executive of the Nkambe council joining Hajara Danjuma.

The session was chaired by the Senior Divisional Officer for Donga Mantung, Ngone Ndodemesappe Bernard who immediately decorated the elected first deputy mayor with the green-red-yellow sash.

Report by Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde with inputs from Marcel Abanda in Nkambe

Friday, December 11, 2015

HOFNA Project To End Gender-Based Violence In Schools Launched

Bamenda, Cameroon—At least 1000 people participated in the launch, hursday December 10, 2015 of a project to curb gender-based violence in schools dubbed “Creative Arts for Girls Empowerment” at the Bamenda congress hall.
Cross-section of students at the 'creative arts' project launch

Supported by the US Embassy in Yaounde, the project uses dramas, songs and debates to fight school-related gender-based violence and empower the young girls.

“Through this project, we are working with students, teachers, parents and community members to respond to and prevent gender based violence in and around schools–building a safe environment for all, especially girls to learn,” Christelle Bay, director of a local nongovernmental organization, Hope For the Needy Association (HOFNA) Cameroon that is championing the project said.

Besides debates by students from some schools of the Northwest Region, educative talks on child early and forced marriages and other Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), the event also featured a panel discussion under the theme, “The Effects of School Related Gender Based Violence on the Socioeconomic Empowerment of Women and Girls.”
Students doing a debate on marriage and education of the girl child

Achaleke Christian Leke, Commonwealth Youth Ambassador for Cameroon and one of the panelists said gender based violence does not only refer to beating a girl or woman. “Just smiling at her [in a seductive manner] constitutes violence” he said.

“The male gender sometimes discriminates over females because of their chauvinistic beliefs in and out of the school milieu,” Christelle Bay said adding that “we all must strive to elude this belief in order to foster the education of the girl child.”

Victims of violence according to Justice Kimbeng Glory, can seek redress by putting up a formal complaint to the nearest investigating unit or legal department. The Mezam High Court judge advised that victims of any forms of violence should not close their eyes to the hostilities of perpetrators.
HOFNA Director (with microphone) moderating panel discussion

“Students who suffer school-related gender-based violence, be they psychological or physical should be assisted by their immediate custodians; parents and teachers to seek redress. There are many legal provisions that take care of gender-based violence, but unfortunately parents and students do not make use of them. That is why workshops and seminars like this [one organized by HOFNA Cameroon] are very important,” Justice Kimbeng said.

‘For Girls Abused’

The official launch of HOFNA’s new project which marked the end of the 2015 edition of the “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence,” campaign was also an avenue for the rights group to screen a drama piece titled, “For Girls Abused.”

The piece depicts mistreatment that young girls experience in schools and communities and which ruins their education and the realization of their dreams.
'Beri' and other actors, actresses of "For Girls Abused" on stage

It draws attention to the hurdles Beri, a young girl from Nkambe, struggles to surmount in her quest for an education. She’s forced to marry her Geography teacher, Mr. Tantoh a man twice her age and already a husband to two wives.

Though Beri's mother feels her pain but can't help because of the abject poverty the family is wading in. The teacher assaults and sexually harasses the young lady serially, using her family’s poverty as leverage.

School Related Gender Based Violence experts say, is a major hindrance to achieving quality education for all and girls empowerment in particular.  This is often in the form of threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of social norms and gender stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Bamenda

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

HOFNA To Kick Out Violence Against The Girl Child With Arts

Bamenda, Cameroon—As part of an ongoing campaign dubbed “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence,” local nongovernmental organization, Hope For the Needy Association (HOFNA) Cameroon will on Thursday December 10, 2015 screen a drama piece titled, “For Girls Abused.”
Students saying no to SRGBV at a sensitization campaign by HOHNA in B'da

The piece depicts mistreatment that young girls experience in schools and communities and which scuttles their education and the realization of their dreams. 

It draws attention to the hurdles Beri, a young girl from Nkambe, struggles to surmount in her quest for an education. She’s forced to marry her teacher, a man twice her age and already a husband to two wives.

Though Beri's mother feels her pain but can't help because of the abject poverty the family is wading in. The teacher assaults and sexually harasses the young lady serially, using her family’s poverty as leverage.

“We are already inviting different schools, teachers, parents, community members, traditional rulers, government representatives, representatives of the U.S Embassy and representatives of CSOs to the Congress Hall in Bamenda from 1pm to 3pm to do the first presentation of this drama during which we shall do talks of School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV), child early and forced marriages and other Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues that are affecting our girls and preventing their stay in Schools,” Christelle Bay, director of HOFNA said.

The event at the Bamenda Congress Hall, the rights activist said, will also serve as lieu for the official launch of HOFNA’s new project, “Creative Arts for Girls’ Empowerment.”

School Related Gender Based Violence is a major hindrance to achieving quality education for all and girls Empowerment in particular.  This is often in the form of threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of social norms and gender stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics.

SRGBV can have serious detrimental effects on children’s health and well-being and their ability to learn to their full potential. It negatively impacts school participation, learning levels and completion rates and raises barriers to gender equality in education and wider society.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Bamenda

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Education:Kadji Defosso Foundation Promotes Excellence

Yaounde, Cameroon—The Douala based humanitarian organization; Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation has rewarded some outstanding schools in Cameroon with cash prizes worth over CFA 15 Million (about 24,300USD).
 The foundation also compensated some teachers with modern equipment for research like laptops and other didactic materials.
 The donation ceremony in the Cameroon capital Yaounde on Saturday November 21 was the hallmark of the second edition of the Foundation’s “Quality Back to School” campaign.
Secretary of State in MINESEC handing over  cheque to principal of 'Jean Tabi'
Beneficiary schools were those that distinguished themselves with excellent results at the Baccalaureat examinations (equivalent of the GCE Advanced level) for the 2013/2014 school year.
According to a classification by the ‘Bac Board’ (Equivalent of the GCE Board), ‘College Jean Tabi’ and ‘College Vogt’ in Yaounde all occupied the first and second positions on the general classification Table of the ‘Bac Exams’ for 2013/2014 academic year while ‘College Liberman’ in Douala was third.
They all received cheques of FCFA 3.5M, 2M and 1M respectively from the Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation.
Other schools that registered improvement in their results like GHTS Akwa in Douala, GBHS Ngomedzap in the Center region and GBHS Ndop in the Northwest region also backed home millions of CFA francs from the foundation.
Speakers at ceremony
The president of Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation, Lucie Sangam said by choosing to support and encourage teachers and secondary education institutions in the country, the objective of the humanitarian foundation’s quality education drive is to build a brighter future for young Cameroonians.
“Our objective has always been to promote quality education in Cameroon and the founding president of Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation thought that we could do it by encouraging educational institutions and the hardworking teachers,” Lucie Sangam said.

Madam Lucie Sangam handing over cheque
The Managing Director of Union Camerounaise de Brasseries (UCB), Ajewole Ikeola Adebayo pledged his company’s continues support to the Foundation’s goal of providing quality education to Cameroonians.
“Essentially this is a foundation that is actually interested in guaranteeing tomorrow. We strongly believe that as users of resources; there is nothing as having good resources and you can only have good resources with good training, so we are using this opportunity to invest on education because the investment on education is what can guarantee a better future,” Ajewole Ikeola said.
The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Secondary Education in Charge of Teacher Training, Boniface Bayaola who chaired the ceremony said quality education depends on the quality of teachers and those who were
“This initiative should be encouraged and laud the efforts of Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation and wishes that it should extend such initiatives to other sectors,” the member of government said.
Boniface Bayaola rejoiced that with such gestures from humanitarian organizations like Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation, there is brighter future for Cameroonian youths for as he puts it, “a country cannot develop if her youths are poorly trained.”
To the schools and teachers who were compensated, the member of government urged them to use their prizes as a source of more inspiration.
“The prizes should not take you to slumber, it rather serve as a call to responsibility and assignment,” Boniface Bayaola urged.
Boniface Bayaola flanked by UCB GM and President of Kadji Foundation
The best upper sixth teachers of Limbe Comprehensive, PSS Fiango Kumba in the Southwest region and Sacred Heart College Mankon in Bamenda all received laptops which the president of the foundation said were to facilitate their research as they continue to impact knowledge on young Cameroonians.
Speaking on behalf of the heads of educational institutions rewarded, the principal of Jean Tabi College was full of thanks to the Joseph Kadji Defosso Foundation  saying “teachers need this encouragement everyday and this foundation has understood this.”

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cameroon Activist Sentenced For Opposing ‘American Land Grabber’

Mundemba, Cameroon—Award-winning Cameroon activist and director of a local nongovernmental organization, Nasako Besingi would serve three years in jail following a suit by SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SG-SOC), a subsidiary of the American firm, Herakles Farms.
The director of Struggle to Economize our Future Environment (SEFE) was last Wednesday November 4, 2015 convicted by a court in Mundemba in the Southwest region of Cameroon.
Locals of Nguti protesting against SGSOC
In 2013, the frontline campaigner against the Herakles Farms Cameroon project was sued by the latter and two of its former employees for “publication of false news via the internet.” The judgment was handed down after several adjournments in recent months.
According to the verdict described by other rights activists as ‘heavy,’ Nasako Bisingi was charged to pay a fine of FCFA 1million or serve a three years jail. He was also posed to pay damages of FCFA 10 million to the two civil parties and costs of about FCFA 200,000 within 24 hours.

Appeal On Questionable Evidence

Nasako’s lead counsel, Barrister Adolf Malle, said he was surprised by the conviction of his client, promising he would appeal the decision ‘based on most questionable evidence.’
Nasako Besingi has been working alongside other activists and local organizations to protect people’s rights and preserve forests in the Ndian division of the country where the New York based agro industrial company through its Cameroon subsidiary, SGSOC is developing a ‘controversial’ oil palm plantation.
Nasako Besingi has been sued and arrested several times since the installation of the Herakles Farms Company (SGSOC) in the Southwest region, because of his denunciation of violations of the law by the agro industrial firm.
The American agro industrial firm started operations (clearing, road opening and creation of nurseries) before obtaining a legal land title, which constitutes a violation of Cameroonian land law.
The opposition of communities, challenging the legality of the presence of the company on their land and who in their vast majority, condemned this attempt to ‘grab their land,’ led to numerous conflicts with the company.

Desire To Intimidate Environmental Activists

Environmentalists in Cameroon have described the conviction of Nasako Besingi, as a ‘desire to intimidate environmental activists,’ in a context marked by the proliferation of investments in land and natural resources, which strongly encroach on village land.
 “The massive influx of investors in the exploitation of land and natural resources can lead to more conflicts of this nature, and it is important that the administration and justice in our country be prepared to manage these tensions,” said Mr. Samuel Nguiffo director of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) Cameroon.
 “Failure to comply with the law when installing SGSOC Company in the Southwest has been the source of many problems, and the Government must learn from this experience,” Nguiffo added.
In a release, CED said the sentence sends a worrying signal to communities defending their lands and resources faced with activities of multinational companies. It also urged that the activist be granted appeal for his right to a fair trial.
“This case shows us the importance of natural resources management policies which should include better protection of Human Rights and consider customary rights of communities”, Apollin Koagne, coordinator of ‘Verdir;’ an E.U  project  that aims at Greening the respect Human Rights in the Congo Basin.”
Nasako’s organization, Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE) won the first prize of the TAIGO awards in 2012 for its frontline campaign against the New York- based Cameroon palm oil Project in Ndian.
The activist led a campaign that highlighted the issue of land grabbing in Cameroon, absence of prior consultation of local communities, resulting to Herakles withdrawal of an application for membership into of the Kuala Lumpur-based Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Friday, October 30, 2015

CPDM Reorganization: Who’s who in Donga Mantung? (II)

Nkambe, Cameroon—The coordinator in charge of supervising the renewal of the executives of basic organs and specialized organizations of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the CPDM party in the Donga Mantung division has reminded subsection commissions of the need to respect electoral prescription as outlined in circular N0. 001/CPDM/NP of July 27, 2015 relating to the exercise.
Hon. Njingum Musa made the appeal at the Nkambe community hall on Friday October 16, 2015 as he officially launched the reorganization process in the division.
The CPDM central committee emissary to Donga Mantung told the militants and aspirants that the renewal of the party’s basic organs is meant to strengthen the party at the grassroots and not to stir division.
“Let’s use our intelligence to ensure there is peace [during the reorganization period],” Hon. Njingum said.
Who’s who, where?
We examined chances of aspirants in Ndu and Nkambe in our previous write-up ( part one). Here is part two as promised. 

Ako: Kuta-Mbembe acrimony feared

In Donga Mantung III, Ako, there are fears the reorganization may spark bitterness as the pre-process is already creating tribal divisions between the Kutas and the Mbembes.
Hon. Ntoi Joseph, outgoing section we gathered is bent on handing the command baton to his son, Ntoi Eugene. The Ntois are from Kuta same like current member of parliament, Hon Abe Michael.
Outgoing YCPDM and aspiring CPDM section president, Mvenya Ernest had reportedly worked out a plan with the current MP for Kuta support as the latter is from lower Mbembe. But Mvenya’s hopes were almost dashed when he realized that Hon. Abe wasn’t in his camp but that of his ‘Kuta brother,’ Ntoi Eugene.
But supporters of Mvenya’s candidature in Ako argue that the latter is a heavyweight in local politics in the Mbembe land and will crush Ntoi Eugene at the polls.
Meantime, Kuta and upper Mbembe pro Ntoi Eugene militants are also reportedly determined to push the Kupe Muanenguba divisional delegate of MINEPAT into his father’s shoes.
Observers thus hold that the reorganization exercise in Ako could thus turn into a Kuta-Mbembe ‘war’ if care is not taken.
The central committee supervision team to the border CPDM section headed by veteran journalist Adamu Musa is therefore expected to reconcile the different lists should the election take place in a tranquil atmosphere.

Misaje: Nkenda against ‘Yaounde mafia’

The absence of the former mayor of Misaje, Nkenda Sonde at the official launch of the reorganization exercise on Saturday October 17 has made the situation of the Donga Mantung IV ‘complicated.’
No one could say whether his absence meant he had decided to throw in the towel or preparing a bombshell. Yet when this reporter accosted him, he simply said he wasn’t aware of the event. He declined further interrogations.
Meantime, we gathered from other sources that Nkenda has vowed that not even ‘Yaounde mafia’ will stop him from becoming section president.
The incumbent executive bureau made up of Sammy Mbgatta, Bolame Bridget and Gariwa Lawrence took over the council as Mayor, first and second deputies respectively in 2013.
We gathered that a man whose only name we got as Nyako is already bracing up to succeed Sammy Mbgatta following a gentleman agreement while a former SDF militant, Abubakar Babayo will head a YCPDM list.
We also learnt that though overseeing the reorganization process in Ngokentunjia, Dr Fuh Calistus is ‘at work’ to make sure tempers are calmed in his base.
Just like he does with tender files in the University of Yaounde II, Soa, Yerima Peter, head of the CPDM central committee supervision commission to Misaje, thus expected to scrutinize the files of the candidates without fear or favour.

Nwa:  ‘Do or Die’ for Dr. Ngomfe

Incumbent section executive of the Donga Mantung V section made up of Hon Mbucksek Genesis, Bobey Ndagha and Meyong Lawrence as CPDM, WCPDM and YCPM would still run for office, we gathered.
But the current ‘landlord,’ (mayor) Dr; Ngomfe David who we learnt had earlier planned to sponsor a certain Pastor Damien had decided to run for the section;
An attempt by the divisional coordinator in charge of supervising the renewal exercise in the Donga Mantung division, Hon Njingum Musa in Nkambe to reconcile the MP and the Mayor failed.
Sources told us that Dr. Ngomfe vowed that he was not part of any consensus; “let’s go for the election and we will know who’s who,” Ngomfe reportedly told the central committee team in an indoor meeting.
We learnt that one young man from Nwa based in the nation’s capital could profit the division and pick his ‘crown from the gutter’ should his list sail through the committee.
The director of exploration at the National Hydrocarbons Corporation, Simon Tamfu who is head of the Central Committee team to Nwa is expected to be very discreet in validating voters to avoid physical confrontation.
 By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Palm Oil Scheme Imperils Lives Of Indigenous Communities

Kribi, Cameroon—The new drive by Cameroon to boost economic growth and become emergent by the year 2035 has ushered in a disturbing land grabbing phenomenon where multinational companies are rushing to purchase parcels of land for their investments from governments.
The leasing of land concessions by government to mostly foreign agro-industries for development has been described by activists as a mixture of blessings and bruises—as it has in most cases met with stiff resistance from local communities who consider the land to be theirs.
A case in point is that of the inhabitants of Kilombo, an indigenous community located south of the Cameroonian sea resort town of Kribi, where the locals have continued to oppose the development of a palm plantation project by palm oil producing giant, SOCAPALM.
SOCAPALM Kienke plantatio (south view)
SOCAPALM, Cameroon’s biggest palm oil producer is a subsidiary of the Socfin Group, in which French business mogul; Vincent Bollor√© is the largest shareholder (38.75%).
SOCAPALM’s Kienke palm plantation that covers 7,459 ha of land is the country’s largest palm plantation and also one of the youngest of the five plantations of the agro-industrial company -only 15 years old. Four other oil palm plantations of the agro-industrial company include Mbongo, Eseka, Dibombari, and Mbambou.

No compensation for land

Since it was privatized in the year 2000, SOCAPALM has continued to scale up the rejuvenation of palm groves depriving locals of their farm and hunting land.
The surrounding communities of the plantation area argue that the privatization process has never benefited the community, nor has any compensation ever been made for the loss of their lands and heritage.
SOCAPALM nursery on 'Bakoume's grandfather's farmland'
“Where you see the SOCAPALM nursery was not supposed to be a palm nursery, it is our farm land. That is my grandfather’s farmland,” Ngo Bakoume Solange of the Kilombo community in Kienke said.
“SOCAPALM told my grandfather that it will use the land and compensate him by sending his children to school and recruit some in the company. But they have not respected the promise and have instead increased the nursery even more than it was supposed to be,” Bakoume Solange explained.
The Kilombo community activist said they had confronted the company’s management repeatedly but have only been consoled with promises.
We have even written a complain which we have submitted to the director of SOCAPALM calling on him to help our children go to school, he promised coming to the village here for us to talk about it,” Bakoume Solange said expressing pessimism over the latest promise.

Prevailing anger

A study by a civil society organization, “Reseaux Pour L’Action Collective Transnationale,” ( ReAct) showed an underlying anger prevails among the local communities neighboring the five SOCAPALM plantations across the country.
It showed that in 2010, residents of Kienke attacked with machetes, employees of SOCAPALM who had come to take measurements for the expansion of the plantations. A similar incident had taken place a year before and was escalated by the intervention of security officers two of whom ended up with severed limbs.
Same year in Mbongo, one of the company’s plantations, people from several villages attacked the company offices after having been the victims of abuses by the security company Africa Security. Several offices were vandalized and houses burnt.
“These trends toward the development of land concessions seriously hold back the development of Cameroon,” said Samuel Nguiffo, director of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED), an NGO in Cameroon that advocates for the protection of the rights, interests, culture and aspirations of local indigenous communities from the forests of Central Africa
The rights activist blamed authorities who focus exclusively on the investments’ macroeconomic fallouts, and do not commit enough to reducing local social and environmental costs, which are compensated neither by fiscal measures nor by jobs creations.

Polluted water, source of diseases

The agro industrial company had not only deprived local communities surrounding their plantations of their customary habitat and farm land. The indigenous communities surrounding SOCAPALM’s Kienke plantation area who are mostly hunters, fishermen and gatherers complained that the destruction of the forest drove away wildlife and the pollution of rivers with chemicals—their only source of drinking water has killed many of their family members.
Bakoume Solange showing their coloured drinking water
Ngo Bakoume Solange said they were over 50 people in their community [Kilombo], but only 35 are left. Most of them, she lamented, have died from water-related diseases. They drink ‘coloured’ water from a small river below the SOCAPALM nursery.
“I lost my mother on the 15th of July, she had diarrhea for just two days and died. I took her to the SOCAPALM dispensary since her situation was deteriorating, but we did not have the needed money that we were asked to deposit,” Bakoume Solange said blaming her mother’s ailment on the polluted water by the oil palm company.
Officials of SOCAPALM did not welcome proposals for comments on the issue from this reporter. But a ‘hostile security guard’ of the company said he does not care about what happens to the locals.
 “I do not live here and I don’t care about those who drink the water,” the security agent said. He had earlier threatened to cease this reporter’s equipment for coming into the plantation’s concession ‘without authorization.’
He admitted that that intoxicated water from the nursery runs into the lone stream that serves the local community.
“There is a warehouse-full of the products inside there [pointing at warehouse from the nursery] that will be used to spray on the young palms against pest,” he explained.
Environmental rights activists say the pollution of the lone source of drinking water by the local community could have been compensated for with a borehole.
“SOCAPALM could have provided a borehole for the community as a substitute,” said Apollin Koagne Zouapet, regional coordinator of “Verdir,” a project to protect the rights of communities and community leaders who practice environmental protection in the Congo Basin.
Apollin Koagne blasted the palm oil producing giant for feeling to meet up with its corporate social responsibilities and respect for environmental standards.

Conflicts amongst local communities

The SOCAPALM Kienke plantation area is surrounded most by the Bantus, although there are also a few “pygmy” Bagyeli communities.
 The company had also stirred up internal conflicts amongst the neighboring communities by using the dominant Bantus to override the Bagyelis.
“The head of the Bantu community said we don’t have any right to be asking for anything from SOCAPALM without his knowledge. We want a Bagyeli community head here too who can channel our problems to the company and the administration. Our plights are not well presented to the company by the ruler of the Bantus,” Bakoume Solange said.
“When I went there to see the director [of SOCAPALM], he said the Bantu chief said if he has not accorded, the Bagyelis should not be listened to,” Bakoume Solange added.
Solange is the lone native “pygmy”of the Kilombo community of the Kienke palm plantation area with a First School Leaving Certificate.
 “It is[referring to the conflicts] a growing phenomenon in Cameroon and because we are expecting more investments in the natural resources sector, we can also expect a lot more conflicts if a clear action from the state is not taken to prevent this type of conflicts,” Samuel Nguiffo said.
“It is clear evidence that something is going wrong with the type of development path that we have chosen. We cannot aim at developing a country for the benefit of the people and then destroy the livelihood of the people in the development process. We cannot claim that we are aiming at developing without having the appropriate safeguards that will protect communities of their rights, health, and of their livelihood,” Samuel Nguiffo explained further.
Industrial Palm Oil plantation expansion in Cameroon according to the ministry of agriculture is estimated to cover over 80,000 hectares while that of small and medium-sized plots- has reached over 58,300. 
Officials of the Cameroon Ministry of Agriculture and Rural said the country is on course to change its current status; from importer to exporter of palm oil in the nearest future.
Like Cameroon, most West and Central African nations had planned to improve palm oil production to an industrial scale. Greenpeace International 2012 figures indicated that there are about 27 palm oil projects in Central and West Africa.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi (First published in Eden Newspaper N°928 of Monday 26 Oct. 2015)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

CPDM Reorganization: Who’s who in Donga Mantung? (I)

Hon. Njingum (standing) calling on coordinators, candidates to respect guidelines
Nkambe, Cameroon—The coordinator in charge of supervising the renewal of the executives of basic organs and specialized organizations of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the CPDM party in the Donga Mantung division has reminded subsection commissions of the need to respect circular N0. 001/CPDM/NP of July 27, 2015 relating to the exercise.
Hon. Njingum Musa made the appeal at the Nkambe community hall on Friday October 16, 2015 as he officially launched the reorganization process in the division.
The CPDM central committee emissary to Donga Mantung told the militants and aspirants that the renewal of the party’s basic organs is meant to strengthen the party at the grassroots and not to stir division.
“Let’s use our intelligence to ensure there is peace [during the reorganization period],” Hon. Njingum said.

Who is who, where?

 Nkambe: ‘Buttered bread’ for Ngala Gerard

The name Ngala Gerard is ‘synonymous to’ the CPDM in Nkambe. The interim section president, we gathered may stand unopposed in the Donga Mantung I section. Ngala who is considered to have brought back to the party to life after what most observers termed as ‘dead and lying in state’ in the hitherto opposition fief parachuted to the post of interim section president two years ago following the election to the post of Mayor of the municipality of the former section president, Paul Ngabir.
The central committee team to supervise the reorganization in Nkambe is headed by Ngi Christopher with Nfor Frederick Budi, Ndukong Gerard and Shey Nfor Musa as vice presidents. Three members of the team include, Ngwayi Pius, Kilah Godlove and Ngwani Charles while Chuyeh Mbunkur, Hajara Danjuma and Yembe Emmanuel are ‘charges de mission,’ (liaison officers)
The supervision team according to some observers may not have much work. Yet we learnt that Kilah Godlove, a member of the commission would run for YCPDM. As per instructions from the Central committee of the party, he has to step down from the commission not to be considered as ‘player and referee.’
Another candidate who would challenge Kilah if his resignation is approved is Tangong Oliver. The incumbent YCPDM section scribe, according to what we gathered may put up his candidature.
Ever since the CPDM ‘regained life’ in Nkambe, the WCPDM president, Felicia Baleri has made sporadic appearances at public rallies. Yet, we were informed another ‘young woman’ is being groomed for her position.

Ndu: Abdou Borno against two

Alhaji Abdou is outgoing YCPDM section president for Donga Mantung I, Nkambe. He contested at the 2013 twin elections as head of the council list of his native Ndu subdivision. Though, the list did not sail through, it is believed the ‘encouraging’ score recorded was thanks to him.
Until the official launch of the reorganization exercise last Friday, Abdou was lone candidate for the post of section president in Donga Mantung II, Ndu. Incumbent Hon. Tarla Kwalar, we learnt will not be running for office.
The CPDM central committee team to Ndu is headed by Dr. Mpoche Kizito with Fai Takop, Nfor Lazarus and Fai Njilah Ngotong as vice presidents. Adamu Mejama, John Ndi Ngala and Nfor Njingti are members while Tamfu Avitus, Tangin Victorine and Nfor Kenneth are ‘charges de mission.’
However, there could be three candidates for the post of section president in Donga Mantung II. We gathered that John Ndi Ngala, incumbent YCPDM president who by virtue of his age cannot run for same office would resign as central committee member to the section and run for office.
Yet we learnt another candidate has reportedly be moving round recruiting militants to run on his list since the process was launch in that section last Saturday. We could not independently confirmed information that the candidate is backed by a member of the central committee delegation.

Emma Bongnjo missing in action!!

Though we could not confirm whether they were just fanatics or registered militants of the CPDM, most young people we talked to in Ndu said they had wish Alhadji Abdou should run for section president while Emmanuel Bongnjo Kwalar, son of the incumbent section president runs for ‘Y’.
Though they said they have not heard from Bongnjo vis-√†-vis the “people’s call” to run for office of YCPDM section president, they expressed their readiness to support Abdou’s list… be continued.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Shey Emmanuel Yunwe Forever: The Crowd Pulling Funeral (News in Pictures)

The former first deputy Mayor of Nkambe was laid to rest in his native Tabenken village on Saturday October 18, 2015.
Over half a thousand mourners were at the burial.
Corpse leaves the Church after funeral service

Wife of the deceased being consoled
Crowd of mourners
Some councilors of the Nkambe council
"Taa'Sheys" paying their last respect to one of them

Shey Emmanuel Yunwe Forever: The ‘Fundraising Funeral’ (News in Pictures)

The deceased first deputy Mayor of the Nkambe council, Shey Emmanuel Yunwe had planned a thanksgiving service and fundraising to renovate the Presbyterian Church Bondu in Tabenken.
Informed by Church authorities, mourners who the Church Pastor said would have been the deceased Mayor’s special guests at the thanksgiving raised about 400.000 FCFA for the church renovation project.
CPDM emmissary, Hon. Njingum opened the fundraising with 50.000 and five tins of paint

Donga Mantung SDO regretted the demise of the mayor before donating

Mayor of Ndu donating 

Ngala Gerard donating

Shey Emmanuel Yunwe Forever: ‘Multi-party’ Funeral (News in Pictures)

The burial of the former first deputy Mayor of the Nkambe council was attended by politicians from different political parties.
At the Mortuary

Mayor of Ndu (SDF), Scribe of UCCC Northwest delivering eulogy  
Martin F. Yembe, First Dep. Mayor of Ndu (standing), consoles Gerard Ngala, CPDM section president
CPDM envoy, Hon. Njingum Musa addressing mourners in church  

PHS Nkambe Principal Pledges More Excellent Results

Nkambe, Cameroon—The new principal of Presbyterian High School (formerly PSS) Nkambe, Mrs. Belinda Yaya Bame Wanyu has pledged to continue striving for excellent results for the school at public examinations.
The principal made the promise following her official installation at a special church service in Nkambe on Sunday October 18, 2015.
Mrs. Belinda Wanyu speaking in presence of her husband, Wanyu Eric Sunjo (in suits)
Mrs. Belinda Wanyu was appointed at the helm of the lone post-primary institution of the PCC in the Donga Mantung Division two years ago.
During her two years as tenure as principal prior to her official installtion, PHS Nkambe recorded best results in public examinations in the Division.
Out of the thirty-six GCE centers of the Division, PHS Nkambe scored 94.12% at the 2015 session of the GCE Ordinary level to emerge first, and 88.89% at the Advanced level to be ranked second.
“It’s an overwhelming experience for me to head PHS Nkambe. It’s like a storm in a tea cup,” Mrs. Belinda Wanyu said paying glowing tributes to students of the school who she described as industrious.
“I have been assigned by God through you to serve,” she added.
Donga Mantung Presbytery authorities hoped for more positive results from the new principal.
“Her [referring to the new principal] zeal and hard work, coupled with her stringent management of financial resources will yield more positive results for the school,” Mr. Tume Michael Samari, Donga Mantung Presbytery chairman said.

Herculean Task

The Education Secretary of the PCC, Mr. Njie Kale Samuel said in other to accomplish her missions, the new principal will have to ensure all texts [Presbyterian Education Authorities and Presbyterian Church in Cameroon] are applied appropriately.
“She has a herculean task of rallying all forces, all stakeholders for the development of the school; partner with state officials, ensure staff cohesion and to properly manage the human and financial resources under her care,” Mr. Njie Samuel urged.
However Presbyterian Education Authorities in the Donga Mantung Division say Presbyterian Christians do not make use of the school as most of them do not send their children there.
According to the new principal, the school is a treasure that the population of the presbytery is yet to discover.
“What I will tell parents is that, what they go looking for out there is found here at PHS Nkambe. They should bring their children here and they [children] will be transformed,” Mrs. Belinda Wanyu said.
The Bachelor Degree holder in Mathematics is the first female principal of the school since creation in 1990.
The induction service at Presbyterian Church Nkambe town was officiated by the Presbytery Secretary for Donga Mantung, Rev. Eyakwe Joseph in the presence of the PCC Moderator’s representative for the Northwest Region, Rev. Jum Ignatius and other Presbyterian Education Authorities.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi, just back from Nkambe