Cameroon: Women Recount Climate Change Misfortunes, Rebuke False Solutions

Oct 22, 2023

Women Farmers Set To Counter False Climate Change Solutions

By Annie Babelle Odounlami

Some 30 women drawn from seven communities of Cameroon gathered to discuss and share experiences on how climate change and agro-industrial activities have hampered agricultural activities.

The discussions took place during the people’s assembly of the African People’s Counter COP, APCC 2023, held in Tombel, Kupe-Muanenguba Division of the Southwest Region, on September 20, under the theme, “Reflect, resist and rise up for climate justice.”

Geared towards encouraging women and local communities, who are the major and first people impacted by the harmful effects of climate change, the mutual exchange programme organised by Green Development Advocates, GDA, and the Centre for Agro Ecological Promotion, CAEP, also looked forward to saying no to false solutions.

This will promote climate justice and protect biodiversity.

According to the tales of the women, most crops harvested, be it cassava, cocoyams, potatoes, among others, turn to rot.

This, they said, is caused by the ever-changing and fluctuating raining and dry season, the construction of the Natchigal Hydro Electric dam as well as the expansion of agro-industries.

In this wise, they exchanged best agricultural practices and highlighted farming methods that jeopardise the soil. In order to ensure mass production, the women were equally advised on the right amount of organic fertilisers at the right time instead of the now dominating chemicals o artificial fertilisers.

Going by Carrele Nguena Mawamba, it is important to counter decisions taken at the international level by decision-makers because they do not live the immediate effects of the climate crisis. The meeting aims to know whether or not people at the local communities know what climate change, Conference of Parties, COP, are all aboutn and to share experiences on what resilience methods they have adopted and practised in the face of this climate crisis.

“We chose to organise this counter COP at Tombel with communities, because, they are the first to bear the repercussions of climate change. And today, the work I actually faced, with the climate crisis and biodiversity in an unprecedented magnitude,” she stated.

Human activities such as deforestation, change of seeds, bush fire, excess use of chemicals, killing of animals leading to their extinction, farm expansions, slash and burn, among others, are some of the many causes of climate change as Emmanuel Eku, Executive Director of CAEP, said.

To him, forest destruction, farm expansions or poor agricultural practices lead to forest destruction and contribute to destroying the flora and fauna. Likewise, chemical products cause leaching and pollute the water table, which eventually leads to drought.

“We are bent on educating farmers to use best practices and local farming methods to encourage them carry out simple agro-forestry methods, that is, integrating trees, crops and animals in the same farm as a sure leans to mitigate climate change,” added Eku.

While addressing the women, the CAEP Director reiterated that they should put into practice the various recommendations that would be drawn from the meeting, into practice at the national and international levels, so as to promote change in the agricultural sector and climate justice in Cameroon.

Claudette Akombo Ebude, final-year student at the Faculty of Agriculture and Vetenary Medicine, Food Science and Technology at the University of Buea, stated that it is paramount to improve the Cameroonian soil and better the climate, because, the more food the country possesses, the richer it is.

“Given my status as a final-year student, I want to build myself by getting involved with small community NGOs so as to impact my nation,” Akombo Ebude said.

He added that building Cameroonian communities agriculturally will go a long way to helping everyone individually.