Sunday, August 30, 2020

SafetyNet Project Reaches Bamenda II Sub Division, To alleviate Poverty

Image of the population that came out on a ghost town to get foodstuffs at cheap rates 

As a way of alleviating poverty in a community that have suffered great loss in economic and social life, due to a crisis, the SafetyNet project is welcomed in Bamenda 2 sub division, with the aim of improving on living standards.

The project started in 2012, as a pilot zone in Ndop, Balikumbat, Belo, Fundong, Also, Oku and is now reaching the doorsteps of Bamenda I, II and III, to help the poor and the project is focusing on communities.

Regional Coordinator talks about the Project.

The SafetyNet comes at a time when security challenges is a call for concern, as it targets empowering the people, and according to the Coordinator of the Project in the Northwest, Kanjo Elvis , targeted population can be reached successfully through honesty.

Funded by the World Bank, the project is out to meet the basic needs of the suffering mass and the Coordinator was grateful to the D.O for Bamenda II, Nicholas Wanchang and The Mayor, Chenwi Peter to have accepted that the people living within his jurisdiction, can benefit.

Cross section of those recieving the project and aid in implementation

The project has 4 components; Cash transfer ( place persons with very poor conditions on an allowance, providing them with the means to start an income generating activity), Use the Manual labour method (involving people in the community to engage in Community development projects), assist in rehabilating petsons who have suffered from shock due to the crisis and help to accompany communities in the fight against Covid-19.

Those representing different Communities in Bamenda II

Some persons will be choosen from the different Communities that make up Bamenda II subdivision, to assist and coordinate the selection of beneficiaries of this project, and are expected to be objective and fair in the exercise.

By Ndefru Melanie
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ACJ Embarks On Project, Reviving Cultural Values in NWR

         Group Picture of Cultural                Journalists, Northwest Region

The Association for Cultural Journalists (ACJ), have began working on a maiden project, building the association by training it's members on telling stories surrounding the Cultures in the Northwest Region.

It is within this framework that
the North west farmers organizations (NOWEFOR) in collaboration with MBOSCUDA, Mbororor Socio-Cultural Development Association, organized a 2days workshop, to train members on cultural diversity and rights.

The project, sponsored by the European union through united purpose based in the United Kingdom, has as main objective to strengthen the capacity of media houses on cultural journalism.

This program is coming from a background project that was done, known as -In Search of Common Grounds, and the project is expected to; promote social cohesion and human rights, information designation and responsiveness of the culture.

The consultant Shey Kanjo, made some clarifications on terms and basic concepts of culture and he defined culture as "Believe, Norms, Ideas, Values and knowledge of a society, while he mentioned some cultural rights, national and international instruments of cultural diversity.

Nji Blasius enlightened participants on cultural journalism and did some demonstrations to potray how people do behave when culture is concerned.

President of ACJ, Abongwa Fozo

During this meeting the president of ACJ, Abongwa Fozo reporter and Manager of City FM radio, in Bamenda, Northwest Region, represented some executive members and some critics were made following the interview with some cultural stars.

"I think cultural journalists face alot of difficulties because it is a concept that many of us like, though we do not really master the subject or what is required from us in our reports ,we only look at culture like; the traditional dance and the dresses we put on, but i think culture cut across so many things like our way of expression and our way of life." President of ACJ.

"Talking about expression, cultural rights are some of the things that journalists are doing their best to be versed with, while practicing to report and your culture, one must also have the right to respect others and to tolerate their cultural values as well". He added

Abongwa Fozo did not forget to mention that the Anglophone Crisis has also been a huge factor of challenge for journalists to go down to the field where they can get primary source of information for cultural programmes.

He further expressed his gratitude and thinks he has benefited from the workshop as "most of the members of this association have learned alot, there are certain concepts about culture which many of us did not know particularly things like; cultural heritage, cultural dialogue, cultural diversity and expression. I think all of us have been able to see how we can promote this concept in our various programs, reports and write ups."

Program Coordinator MBOSCUDA,Sali Django

Program coordinator SALI DJANGO, mentioned said "the aim is actually to improve on their capacities to be reporting on cultural diversity and also to have a mastery of instruments that are governing culture", Program Coordinator for MBOSCUDA, Sali Django.

"By this training, we are actually promoting culture because this is the second training of its kind - it is important that, just like after the 1st training, cultural radio programs should be organized, to promote intercultural dialogue and create some awareness in the community eventhough they face some challenges." He added.

The coming of this cultural association, is in line with one of the components that should encourage most Fons of the Northwest Region, who have escaped to safety, due to the ongoing crisis, to return.

Through collective efforts and diversity, many people will go back to their roots and identify themselves, and work for the return of Peace and harmony in their different Communities

Ndefru Melanie
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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Newly Installed UNVDA Board Chair, Urged to Increase Rice Production

. Dr Ngwana Sama Bernard

The new board chair for the Upper Nun Valley Development Authority, UNVDA, Dr Ngwana Sama Bernard, has been urged by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mbarobe Robert Gabrielle, to increase rice production as he takes up office for the Northwest and West Regions.

His installation comes at a time when management is faced with challenges, as a result of the ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions, coupled with the current health crisis, the Covid 19 pandemic.

Minister chairs UNVDA Board Meeting

The installation of UNVDA's Board Chair is done in Bamenda on August 19th, during the maiden visit of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, who chaired the UNVDA Board meeting, in the presence of key stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the Northwest region.

The City Mayor, represented by his deputy, Ndoh Awah, reminded the Minister that the Northwest region is embedded with poverty and unemployment, but agriculture being the main activity for the economy to sustain livelihood, has suffered and is lacking behind due to the ongoing crisis.

"The displacement of the farming population, limitted farmland, difficulties in accessing farmland, are part of the difficulties faced in the agricultural sector, of the Northwest region" Deputy Mayor, Ndoh Awah.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

The Minister assured the City Mayor, to look into the plight faced by the agric sector and especially the challenges of the Upper Nun Valley Development Authority, UNVDA. He encouraged stakeholders to continue working in synergy to ensure development and satisfy the demands of the growing population.

He adds that the Head of State has entrusted the leadership of the UNVDA to Dr Ngwana Sama Bernard, aged 66, because "he is a seasoned and experienced official", though his appointment comes in at a time the region is going through a crisis in double phase.

"Your appointment comes at a special times when the UNVDA, the main secular arm of the state in the development is the rice sector in the Northwest and West region is going through a difficult period, marked by an increasingly fragile socio political and economic situation" MINADER, Mbarobe Robert Gabrielle.

Minister and Newly Installed UNVDA Director

Born on 16th Nov 1954, hails from Balikumbat in Ngoketunjia Division Northwest region, has good mastery of the fields he worked in and also served as an administrator in different numerous institutions.

The Minister gives the new director of UNVDA, principles that will guide his daily actions, to " increase rice production, seek quick solutions and implement actions to enhance food security in the region, revitalise rice cooperatives, promote farmers access to agricultural machinery, optimize use of existing rice fields while opening up new ones, create and consistently increase the cooperations own resources, and forward a strategic development plan for UNVDA to his office" Minister of Agriculture.

As part of the Minister's working visit to the Northwest region, he had a working session at GP-DERUDEP, where he was recieved by the project coordinator Muluh Gregory and at Northwest Cooperative Associate, NWCA in mile 3, where he was recieved and presented with the challenges faced by the association and it's various sectors.

"We have to create many jobs, increase what is on the field and increase food security, by producing more rice, with rice we can have food security. UNVDA covers Northwest and West Region and with alot of land in these 2 regions, fertile land and these days we will invite rice farmers in society to intensify their production and extend rice production, by cultivating upland rice." The New Board Chair of UNVDA.

" We have to transform the rice products, our challenge is also to put the rice in the world market, I think UNVDA is on the right path and we are calling on the population to join efforts with us to increase rice production" Dr Ngwana Sama Bernard added.

By Ndefru Mélanie

678415536(mobile money)


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Senator Ngam Donates Anti Covid kits, Supports Hall Project

Senator Ajuo Ngam Honore's visit to Bamenda, has been a great relief to the ABADU fellow members of the Bamenda Branch, as he engaged them in the fight against the Covid-19 disease, by offering 100masks, cartons of Savon and a sum of 500,000 Cfa for a hall project.

This gesture was done on August 9th, through his representative, Yong Emmanuel, who donated these items, as a way of reaching out to his people in times of the health and security challenges.

Boyo division according to last information gotten from the Regional Delegation of Public health, is one of those areas that have recorded over 10deaths from the Coronavirus disease, with over 15 persons positive of the virus.

Through the Senator's gesture, the people see him as "an approachable and flexible politician who listens to the cry of his people", comparing him to other politicians of his constituency, who have gone mute.

The Senator Ngam Honore from Boyo Constituency, Northwest Region, laid a foundation stone to the ABADU fellow's hall project, by offering the sum of 500,000Cfa and they saw his intervention, as timely, given the need for development and  health crisis, that had been a major challenge to those of the division.

By Ndefru Melanie

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

IYD 2020; MINJEC Connects with Youths through Zoom, Reaching SDGs

       Youths in Video Conference

Some youths in the Northwest Region, have joined their peers in other regions across the national territory, through a zoom session, to understand their role and participation in the celebration of International Youth Day(IYD) activities and the need to meet Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

This video conference held on August 11th, at the Regional Delegation of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Northwest Region, in prelude to the 21st Celebration of International Youth Day activities 2020, to be celebrated August 12th, under the theme; " Youth Engagement for Global Access".

Video Conference with youths from different Regions, in Camerooon

MINJEC, through it's activities has made efforts to accompany, empower youths in the Northwest Region, to remain resilient in the face of multiple challenges, amonsgst which is the building and restoring of Peace in the region.

Participant, Samuel Atigi

Samuel Atigi CEO of an NGO, Mandela Foundation based in Bamenda, was worried about the activities of MINJEC, that empowers the Youths, especially those of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, to reach sustainable development goals, in a serene atmosphere.

It is worthy to note that youths form a majority of Cameroon's population and a good number of these youths or their representatives were not part of the video conference, to best present their plight within context.

Regional Delegate Youth Affairs, Northwest Region

Nimpa Bonaventure, Regional Delegate For Youth Affairs and Civic Education for the Northwest Region, talks about the challenges faced by the youths, participating in some of the activities concerning them in the region.

"The Covid-19 disease has caused us to restrict some of our activities, Our youths facing a double challenge; insecurity and the health crisis, to meet up with the sustainable development goals. Insecurity that cannot yield development and the Covid-19 disease, that has involved many youths in sensitization" he said.

"Our main concern is that our youths should feel concerned with development goals, by actively involving them in activities that have to do with Peace keeping and Peace building." Regional Delegate, Nimpa Bonaventure, added.

In the days ahead, as part of activities to celebrate the IYD, interactive radio sessions will hold to engage youths in Bamend, arround the Northwest region, working in synergy on projects that will contribute in development, while restoring peace.

By Ndefru Melanie



Sunday, August 9, 2020

Road Works In Nkambe Begin through Community Efforts

cross section of those in attendance

Representatives of the transport sector, vehicle owners and other transporters, Achaba Union, Businessmen and other Stakeholders have met in nkambe Subdivision to take urgent action to repair some bad spots on the National road along the Nkambe - Ndu stretch which is nearly cutting off.

The meeting took place on August 5th, in the presence of the Mayor of Nkambe, Mayor Nfor Musa who chaired and brought these stakeholders to an emmergency meeting, with the main aim of joining efforts and commence road works.

Nature of roads

The team of engineers dispatched to the affected portions, brought results and presented in a follow up meeting, which held on Thursday 6th August.

portion of road in Nkambe

According to the feasibility studies, the first phase of the road maintenance will need total scrapping and drainage at six main spots followed by filling with about 90 truck loads of hard laterite, the works will also need two Fronthead loaders, Ten 20tonnes camions,two graders and the support of man power (mannual labour).

The estimated amount for first phase is 2,650,000 Cfa and reacting to the situation, which is a reality the populations there lived, Mayor Nfor Musa Shey told the Stakeholders that;

Mayor Nfor Musa presiding emmergency meeting

"it is time to invoke the well known community spirit because it will be difficult for Government to act fast on the said portion of the Ring road". He's aaid.

Unanimously, individual contributions were adopted as the way forward, with Businessman Mr Tumenta Emmanuel ( Emmanuel Binshua) designated Treasurer, Tamnjong Richard and Haruna Mohamadou as collectors and communications, while Nfor Musa Shey will act as Coordinator.

Launching the contributions on the spot was as follows:
1. Nfor Musa Shey- 300,000Frs 2. Emma Binshua 100,000Frs and a Camion.

Other collections were carried out till, saturday 8th August and the sum of 1,245,500 Cfa was collected by 7pm same night.

The coordination team has fixed the first phase of the road works, to commence monday 10th August 2020, with attention focused on the first portions, which will be around the Mbot Fons palace then Mbiyeh towards Ndu section.

Cross section of those in attendance

There is total mobilization, as the Coordinator thanked those who have already reacted, and sent appeals to elites and other stakeholders to act financially or materially as these works will continue throughout the remaining rainy season this year.

By Ndefru Melanie

Source: Close aid

Friday, August 7, 2020

BCC Revenue Increases Despite Dual Crisis Situation

 City Mayor reading Welcome Address

The cancelation of 2 months rents and the revenue collected through cemetery fee has improved council revenue, according to the Bamenda City Mayor and reports from the social/ welfare committee of the Bamenda City council.

These observations were made during a mid term evaluation session, which held in Bamenda on August 7th,2020, with the Bamenda City Mayor chairing the session, in the era of security and health challenges.

"Despite the cancelation of 2 months rents at the sheds of the market, there has been a mark of improvement in Council Revenue", Mayor Paul Achombang tells councilors and administration present at the session.

An amount of 4,047,376,748 was budgeted for the year 2020, but what has been realised as Revenue by mid term evaluation, stood at 1,222,907,354 Cfa, being 30.21% and expenditure stood at 755,129,358 Cfa recording 18.66%.

Cross section of  city councilors

The secretary to the Social and Welfare Committee, Muzam Damarie remarks that the cemetery fee had contributed a good percentage of revenue for the council, she added that it was challenging burying love ones and called on powers that be to solve the crisis, and guard against the deadly disease, Covid-19.

The health of the population in Bamenda was also the center of discussion at the council session, with emphasis laid on the need for city councilors to play the role of sensitization, informing the mass to guard against the deadly disease.

According to reports, Out of 711 people tested positive of the virus, the 472 infected people are from Bamenda, with a record of over 500 recovered cases, with 373 cases being from Bamenda, not leaving out a number of 66 deaths recorded and the 42 people who died are from Bamenda.

SDO, Mezam.

The Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam, Simon Emile Mooh, did not fail insisting on the need for people to learn how to wear their mask and respect preventive measures.

"The midway evaluation session is based mainly to fight against Covid-19, am expecting alot from you in terms of sensitization, don't take the mask and offer them only to your friends and familly members, you must prote t the people and show them that your first Interest is their health" SDO Mezam.

City Mayor handing face masks

The City Mayor shared out face mask to all councilors as a way to encourage them, sentize the population to guard against the disease and put on their face mask frequently.

Apart from health challenges, he talked about the aspect of bad council roads that need attention, remarking that it is the cry of all road users, another challenge faced but, added that the city council,by September, will be sure to have fixed some roads and maintain others.

Mayor Tambeng Paul said, the SDO for Mezam, will "facilitate the process for the city council to provide driving license to over 1000 bike riders, each costing 11000 Cfa, incurring and amount of over 11 milion Cfa". Mayor Bamenda City Council.

Secretary, Works and Transportation

Fongoh Pius Kisang, secretary of the works and transportation committee, observed through his reports that, the city council had executed less than 20% of her action plans due to the socio political upheaval, while the maintenance of potholes on council roads is delaying because of the rains.

By Ndefru Melanie


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Stakeholders Poised for Joined Efforts to Realise Projects In NWR

A cross section of participants

During the Public Investment Project follow up meeting, that met to validate mature project and set for programming, divisional delegates were adviced to work hand in glove with Mayors for the realisation of projects within the different communities.

This observation was made by the secretary general at the governor's office, Viang Mekala sitting for the Governor of the Northwest region, Adolphe Lele Lafrique on August 6th, at the MINEPAT hall Bamenda, for the validation of mature projects and programming.

The Senior Disional officer, Simon Emile remarked that, there is lack of synergy within the stakeholders involve in the execution of projects, and strongly condemned the actions of some divisional delegates who are not willing to collaborate with Mayors, for projects in the Northwest to come to fruition.

"I will not hesitate to give them queries of suspend them, Divisional delegates are there to help Mayors they should not make the work of Mayors difficult" Simon Emile Mooh, SDO Mezam.

Regional meeting for the maturalization and programming of projects, brought together stake holders concerned, to work and present a simple format for the maturization of projects.

Regional Delegate MINEPAT, NWR

This, according to the Regional Delegate of MINEPAT, Dominic Fotsop, is the only way to achieve these developmental projects and identify mature projects, put in place at the level of the region for exploitation at anytime.

Feedback report from technical committee was not positive and this reminded state services to provide services free of charge, while congratulating senior partners like MINMAP, MINDEVEL, PNDP, FEICOM, who took the task to do what was assigned, though challenging, the regional delegate termed their efforts as a "great push".

Though many council areas were noted not to have lobbied for projects, 503 projects according to the regional delegate MINEPAT, were validated, accepted and good for funding by the state. But again said "because of the giant nature of Mezam, the reports are ready to get changes."

He mentioned other challenges, "some mayors or project owners sent projects without attestation of site availability, difficulty at the level of State engineers, with no equipment available to work with and other projects rejected because it didn't demonstrate what is requested(no use of diagrams)" he observed.

Cross section of Mayors in the Region

He pleaded with Mayors and other stakeholders concerned, being development oriented,to correct the errors and make work easy for the technical team.

"With the dispensation of decentralization, Mayors are expected to give in more support for the interest of the suffering population, in the maturization meeting".

Observations were made and recommendations arrived at, stipulating that extension and preparation of projects, will end same day, while technicians from the state will be as council workers
and Mayors needing technical services should go through the Senior Divisional Officer.

Follow up meetings have held to ensure that projects are being executed, yet, the common man is yet to enjoy the fruition of some projects which have registered null since the beginning of the Anglophone Crisis in 2016.

Familly photo of Stakeholders in the NWR

By Ndefru Melanie

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

NWADO Nourishes CSOs on Land Tenure and Public Contracts Policies/Procedure

               CSOs in workshop

Over 100 CSOs came together, through the efforts of Northwest Association of Development Organization(NWADO), for a working session to understand the policies and procedures guarding Land Tenure and Public Contracts, to ensure that public contracts are properly executed in the Northwest region.

The training took place on August 5th, 2020 in Bamenda, bringing together CSOs to brainstorm on activities that will cause government to change some policies and set records on how civil society can constitute themselves and function, in the follow up on public Investment projects.

Participants give input on subject matter

Some of the participants were happy to have the stakeholders concerned with land tenure and public contracts present in their midst, while the CSOs sharpened their skills to get informed and be part of the follow up commission for projects to be implemented in the different communities in the region.

Coordinator, MBOSCUDA

Sali Django Program Coordinator for MBOSCUDA NWR as participant says the workshop is relevant, bringing Civil Societies together to Organize themselves and engage in a focused direction.

"CSOs coming together as one, has been a weak situation in the past, this is a laudable initiative, to come as one and act as whistle blowers to ensure bad practices are minimized and completely eradicated." He said.

"Challenges faced are general for many CSOs who never had acess to Information, those who are responsible to provide information are reluctant, probably because they are involved in the bad practices. Procedures were not very clear to CSOs and one cannot criticize without having knowledge on the subject matter, with this workshop, the picture is clearer" Sali Django said.

CEO, Light Africa

Mala Celencia, CEO of light Africa Cameroon, as a participant was void of knowledge on how projects or contracts were followed up but appreciated the workshop for the knowledge recieved.

"I have been able to get more knowledge on contracts, how it is awarded and the follow up needed to meet up with the demands of the beneficiaries. As a CSO we have need to play the role of follow up on what needs to be done, to deliver quality services while meeting the aspirations of the people. There is so much I didn't know untill now, and I thank NWADO for this initiative, bringing CSOs together for a common good" she said.

Coordinator NWADO

Tombir Stanley, The Coordinator of NWADO told Civiclens that it's a network of civil society Organizations of the Northwest region and the workshop is organized within the framework of the project funded by the Acting Citizenship Strengthening Program.

"The project is amplifying, civil society voices for quality services delivery in he Northwest Region; targeting 2 sectors, the land tenure and the public Contracts Sector. The objective is to help Civil Societies to master the procedures and policies guiding the land tenure and the public contracts Sector, so that they can monitor, step by step and do advocacy actions when there are is in those sectors" Coordinator of NWADO.

"Public investment projects envisaged should meet the needs of the beneficiaries, though there have been challenges, at the policy level and at the procedural level, road construction is part of contracts given to engineers to execute and are poorly executed, and with the realities we live today are quite challenging to go through these roads" he added.

He observed that there is need for youths to go enterprebeurial and the 1974 land tenure according to him sidelines the youths from having their land, certifying it and using it as capital for their entrepreneurial initiatives.

"With the rate of unemployment we are thinking that govt should relax the policies and procedures so that it benefits young people and CSOs by the end of the workshop are expected to restructure themselves and get informed, make our voices heard in terms of land tenure and public Contracts policies and procedures, while we come together to do a policy proposal to the state, revise and propose what is better to the populace" Tombir Stanley.

Facilitator, workshop

Shei William is the facilitator at the training for CSOs, he says the participants are expected to "develop and Implement advocacy strategy to influence the public contract sector beginning at local level, because there are instruments put in place, but many are not able to use them, so advocacy is also about knowing how to use these instruments to execute these contracts." Facilitator said.