The people of Kugwe of Batibo Subdivision, Momo Division in the Northwest, have donated six hectares of land to the Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future.
The gift will support TREES Cameroon’s mission of agro-forestry, forest garden approach and programme extension.
The Chairman of the Kugwe Project announced the gift during the visit of the Cameroon Desk Program Coordinator, Benjamin Addlestone, and Prof. John Munsel from Virginia Tech. University to evaluate projects in Cameroon early this year.
He also pledged the continuous support and commitment of his community to the programme.
Speaking shortly after the meeting, Addlestone expressed satisfaction on the donation of the piece of land.
“I assure you that the decision you made to donate this land is a wise one. The land will help the Kugwe population to extend the agro-forestry programme and continuously help to improve on soil fertility and consequently increase food security,” Addlestone said.
Kugwe is one of the 200 communities receiving support from the US Charity, Trees for the Future Programme activities in Cameroon. Members of this community came into contact with Trees for the Future Cameroon also referred to as TREES Cameroon, through their proactive and enthusiastic quarter head, Ayong Thomas with the collaboration of a Northwest-based NGO SIRDEP.
Following this collaboration in 2010, community members benefited from a number of training sessions on nursery establishment, seed pre-treatment, transplanting and on-farm management, agro-forestry seeds and were given tree planting equipment. They dedicated their time and energy in tree planting for various reasons including soil fertility improvement, fodder for livestock, live fences and medicine.
Because of their commitment and success in their tree planting activities, Addlestone decided to pay them a maiden visit on February 10, 2012. This visit spurred them even more and in 2013, the farmers planted over 12.000 tree species of Acacia, leucaena, Calliandra and Prunus africana in their farms and around two water catchments that support about five other communities in the area.
Due to their hard work and hospitality, TREES Cameroon started to look for other opportunities that would complement their tree planting efforts and improve on their standards of living. This led to the identification of a hydro-electricity power project initiated by the community years back. Fortunately, TREES Cameroon met with two organisations Satom Construction and SYFA which have demonstrated interest in supporting the tree planting project.
The visit was crowned with a visit to the Eyong Forest Garden; one of the model agro-forestry projects in the community, the hydro-electricity project site and the site donated to TREES Cameroon.
The TREES for the Future Cameroon Programme Coordinator, Louis Nkembi, thank the Kugwe people for their commitment to the project and promised to use the piece of land judiciously for the betterment of the community.