By Louvier Kindo Tombe in Yaounde
Yaoundé – October 20 2022, a workshop titled ‘Africa Peoples Counter COP Assemblies and Action‘ was held at the Head Office of Green Development Advocate (GDA). Focus was to mobilize women, young people and local communities to strengthen their actions and solutions in the struggle against climate change.
“Climate change is affecting everyone everywhere in the world,” says Ekane Nkwelle, Project Manager at GDA during the workshop.
Green Development Advocate (GDA) is a Non Novernmental Organization that promotes healthy environmental activities and practices.
According to Ekane Nkwelle, “negotiators who go to climate change summits usually go there to play”.
Speaking during the workshop attended by traditional rulers, women, and young people from Batchenga, a locality in the Lekie Division of the centre region of Cameroon, the Project Manager at GDA revealed that most often “COP meetings have been transformed into arenas where big negotiators swallows smaller ones with promises that are barely respected“.
“We call on governments and all the climate change delegates especially those to attend COP27 in Egypt to negotiate genuinely for the interest of humans irrespective of their locations across the world,” Ekane Nkwelle told News Upfront.
He equally enjoined the women, young people and local communities to “try their best at their various levels to respect their immediate environment“.
Local Community Challenges in Cameroon’s Centre Region
Some 61.0 kms (1hour 30 minutes drive) away from the political capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, is found a locality known as Batchenga. Made up entirely of farmers, Batchenga recently came to the lamplight with the construction of a Hydro Power Project (Dam) in the area. The nwganega effects of the Dam have spread across almost all the villages that make up the community.
“Since the coming of the project, our fishing activities have been facing challenges”, says Jean Wilfried Eyebe, representative of fishermen in Batchenga – Ndji.
“It is very difficult now for us to fish the famous ‘Ndomba’ fish that sells well in Yaounde”, he added.
Besides fishing, farming and many other activities have been affected by the hydro power project, but with the continuous effects of climate change, the situation is gradually getting out of hand.
According to a woman who live on farming activities, “we used to count on climate in our agricultural activities but now everything has changed”.
“We are not certain on when to farm, when to fish, when to extract sand from the river”, the president of the association of traditional rulers in Batchenga, Bikele Ambomo Bruno. expressed.
B. A. Bruno., is equally president of sand diggers’ association in Batchenga.
Talking to most of the fishermen, we discovered that their daily income has greatly suffered the effects.
“We used to fish for three seasons a year raising about FCFA 10.000.000, but that has changed”, Jean Wilfried Eyebe said.
Dieudonne Eyama, a local traditional ruler in Batchenga seized the opportunity of COP27 to send a clarion call to the government of Cameroon and other world leaders to consider local communities in remotes areas across the world as they discuss issues of climate change.
Green Development Advocate (GDA) strongly believe that COP27 is that perfect occasion for negotiations on climate change issues to favour Africa and Africans.