Gov’t donates expired inputs to farmers

Farmers in the Southwest Region have decried the distribution of expired chemicals to them as part of a trumped up campaign to fight black pod diseases in cocoa and coffee orchards.

During the recently celebrated Southwest Region 2017 Agro Pastoral Show, it was revealed by farmers that, last March’s spraying campaign put in place by the state to fight capsize and black pod diseases in cocoa and coffee orchards which was, ordinarily, a welcome move is now doing more harm than good to producers. According to Ndedi Akaba, Regional President of Southwest Farmers’ Platform, the project team mostly distributes such inputs after their expiry dates. He wonders if the intention of the state is providing producers with expired inputs.

To Ndedi, the year 2017 had been perceived as good for farmers in terms of price and production but unfortunately, they have instead witnessed a drop in production and a considerable drop in the prices of some major cash crops such as cocoa and rubber. According to him, one of the most difficult services in the production and post-harvest sectors is the collection of data and statistics. He said that the state cannot pretend to do it alone but that other organizations should also be equipped to collect data and statistics which has become a major concern in the country. He added that the long waited agricultural and livestock census decreed some years now has been overdue for action. To him, this exercise when completely done will make them know who does what and when in the country, especially, in the Southwest Region. “The banking and finance sector plays little or no role in the growth of the agricultural sector which is the backbone of the economy, all because the country does not valorize and has not officially recognized farming as a profession to enable it leave the informal r to the formal sector,” lamented Ndedi.

However, the Minister’s representative has countered that the Government of Cameroon considers the agricultural sector as a priority reasons why it has invested heavily on it with the view of developing it such that it can provide adequate jobs, create wealth and fight poverty. To her, that is why the Government after creating the Ministry of Agriculture embarked on the creation of agro pastoral shows in all the 10 regions. The event which coincides with end of year festivities according to her permits the denizens to buy foodstuff at a reduced cost, provide a platform for farmers to exhibit their best produce and receive rewards. It, also, according to her, helps farmers to enhance learning, exchanging partnership and networking. “It enhances farmers’ education and skills on production processing and storage techniques for the overall improvement of their agricultural sector. Promotes awareness, participation and motivation of farmers towards self-sufficient food production,” said the representative. She stated that this sector produces 35 to 40 percent gross domestic product and provides 70 to 80 percent raw materials to the industry.

She said that the President through his Government laid the foundation for the effective integration not only of the young farmers but other persons who will like also, to invest in the field of agriculture through numerous projects and programs. She urged those responsible for the projects to each make themselves known by all producers and to encourage and facilitate the integration of producers and their accession to different support and subsidies put at their disposals. She requested all the producers in association with individuals to get closer to the agricultural supervisors stationed in their locality so that they can accompany  them in order to make benefit from all available support at the level of MINADER with a view to optimize agricultural production.

By Relindise Ebune & Nester Asonganyi

Int’l Confab to curb Cameroon’s urbanization snags

True to Cameroon’s enduring inclination to substandard approaches to proffering solutions to national socio-economic problems and relying on foreign expertise, the nuisance chaotic urbanization in Cameroon has been posing may soon be consigned to history books, thanks only to fruits of bilateral relationships with Canada and China.

The imminent succour was made public by Cameroon’s Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Mbwentchou Jean Claude, while opening a press conference to announce the second International Conference on Canadian, Chinese and African Sustainable Urbanization, ICCASU, at the Yaounde Conference Centre, recently. Admitting that the CIA World Fact Book estimates of the country’s urbanization rate at 3.6 percent between 2010 and 2015, he stated that the conference will examine ways in which global and local issues limit sustainable urban development, identify realistic and adaptable measures to augment local and global governance of urban spaces.

Mbwentchou, boasted that the Yaounde meeting will be one of the first transcontinental conferences to address the challenges identified by the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III summit in October 2016. Pundits have however retorted almost immediately that being the first to address an issue does not guarantee efficacy.

The second ICCASU conference ran at the Yaounde Conference Centre from the 12 – 14, December 2017 and registered the participation of collaborators from the University of Ottawa, Canada and experts from the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat).  They examined the current urban development models in Canada, China and Africa with the hope of identifying best practices to promote smart urban development, reduce vulnerability and address fragility in geographic, economic, political, and historical contexts.

On the eve of ICCASU 2017, participants were treated to a workshop dubbed, “sustainable development 2.0: operational tools for integrated and concerted urban planning.” The training session according to Minister Mbwentchou “will see intervention of seasoned specialists from prestigious universities across the world, including Cameroonian universities. This workshop aimed at training participants in the conduct and supervision of programmatic approaches applied to various contexts and scale of urban planning, as well as offered a methodological instruction, specialized and operational urban development tools and empowered participants so as to improve their use of town planning tools.”

The Minister announced that the three day workshop spanning 9 to 11 December to lay the groundwork for the 2017 ICCASU conference, was the main innovation of their second symposium to sandwich the event proper and the post-conference. He equally revealed that the UN-Habitat would organize a free workshop on Urban Journalism for communication professionals to “popularize the new urban guidelines adopted at the Habitat III during the third United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, held in Quito, Ecuador in 2016.”

Facilitators tipped that among other thematic areas, the session termed “Smart Urban Development: Local to Global Action” will focus on smart cities and climate change, special challenges for Urban Africa, urban security and land tenure issues, cities and climate change, and translating the new urban agenda into action.

It should be recalled that Cameroon took over from 2015 host, Canada, and will handover to their Chinese fellows for the 2019 ICCASU convention.

What remains in the hands of time to be ascertained is whether the meeting flanked by Ministers of State Property, Survey and Land Tenure, Higher Education, Communication, External Relations among researchers, decision makers from the private, civil society and public sectors, will be the magic wand urgently needed to resolve urbanization issues plaguing the 54.4 percent of Cameroon’s population which is urban.

By Claudia Nsono

 

International wildlife sanctuary goes to Fontem

ERuDeF CEO, Louis Nkembi talking to the press

Government lip service to conservation as can be seen in unscrupulous exploitation of timber and granting of scurrilous concessions, to agri-businesses is being gradually offset by efforts from International and local Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations CSOs. One of such valiant opus is Environment and Rural Development Foundation, ERuDeF, that organized a press briefing Monday, December 11, informing the press of its project dubbed The Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary aimed at conserving and ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources in Fontem, Sub Division.

Usually, when a locality is blessed with some biodiversity hotspots, natives or denizens living around such areas due to ignorance tend to exploit rather than conserve it for the good of the nation.

According to Louis Nkembi pilot of this initiative, the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is an over 6,000 hectares forest area located in Fontem Subdivision. It is host to over 300 Chimpanzees which is one of the biggest chimpanzee densities in Western Cameroon and over 100 forest elephants, drills, cross gorilla, bush baby, blue duiker, red eared monkey, some unknown plant species and globally threatened bird’s species are also some animals in the Wildlife as stated by Louis.

He added that, though there was the need to conserve and ensure the management of natural resources in the area, they have had a staunch resistance from the locals and elites who see it as a move to take their forest away from them and depriving them of their God-given source of living. He said that, much contestation comes from civil and political elites who try to grab lands belonging to the people for themselves. But that, come January 2017, there will be a general commission in Menji, whereby those who are for and against the creation of Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary will be invited to put forth their reasons for their stands.

Nkembi, however, stated that, it was important to keep the public informed about this because of the many misconceptions. He added that people have the misconception that the creation of a protected area is a private initiative that doesn’t fall in line with the Government. But that, they are all state property and are not transferrable from one location of the country to another. According to him, such areas are owned by the state but for community areas which have been given 100 percent community ownership.

“Protected areas play a significant role in the life of the communities and country as a whole. With such areas, Government investment in that community doubles, it serve as open doors to international investments, generates employment, socio economic development and livelihood of individuals would be improved upon with benefits for the entire community,” highlighted Nkembi.

Nkembi furthered that the project would attract tourists internationally and would build in the next eight years, FCFA millions for tourism. He, however, stated that, while working on the project, they would establish a substantive socio-economic programme for natives of Fontem to generate income and create jobs for them.

By Relindise Ebune

 

 

Builders of skyscrapers in Buea warned against eruption impact

The rate at which sky rise structures are growing in Buea and its environs has necessitated a workshop on ‘Building Local Capacities towards Disaster Risk Reduction and Reducing the Impact of Natural Hazards and Disasters Posed by Eruptions of Mount Cameroon on the Population’ in Buea.

Participants at the disaster risk reduction workshop

The workshop organized by the Faculty of Science of the University of Buea, UB on Tuesday December 12, was in perspective of a possible eruption of Mount Cameroon if its frequency of 15-16 years is respected.

“The focus of this workshop is due to the number of high rise structures we have today, because in 1999, when we had those earthquakes, we did not have the number of high rise that we have today and we don’t know the building rules which are being used to build these structures today. We have very tall buildings in countries like Japan with very high earthquakes intensity and magnitude but the buildings can withstand.  But are we building buildings that can withstand our own earthquakes? We don’t know and University of Buea is very concerned,” the chief organizer and Dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. Ayonghe Samuel Ndonwi bothered.

According to him, there are different types of erupting mountains around the world and Mt. Cameroon has specific characteristics like all the other mountains. He said the risk that comes from the eruption of Mt. Cameroon as observed in previous eruptions includes tremor and earthquakes which precedes the eruption as well as the viscous lava which is not very fluid, flows slowly and is not very dangerous.

He said if the frequency of eruption of 15-16 years is respected, the mountain should be erupting soon but, assured that there should be no fear because they (scientists) will be able to handle it. He said the station at Ekona mounted by the Ministry of Scientific Research is monitoring the mountain and so, there should be no fears.

To the Vice-Chancellor of UB, Prof. Horace Ngomo Manga, engaging UB with the wider community of Buea Municipality on how to reduce the impacts of natural hazards and disasters that occur from eruption of Mount Cameroon is very important. He appreciated Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risk – Universities, Periperi U Grant and the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, for making the workshop a reality.

By Nester Asonganyi

IITA trains 1,570 cocoa farmers on quality improvement

Farmers take practical lessons

To rein in on the malaise that has recently afflicted the cocoa sector in Cameroon owing to a combination of factors including fake chemicals, poor methods of nursing, planting, harvesting and drying of the crop by not so knowledgeable farmers, MINADER via the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, has decided to train cocoa farmers through a programme, ‘The Farmer Field School’ on better ways of cultivating cocoa.

The training, designed to teach farmers modern and improved methods of growing cocoa from the nurseries, planting, harvesting and drying climaxed with a visit on graduation day totheir demonstration plots in Malende, Muyuka.

Prisca Bih, one of the field facilitators, explained that they encourage farmers to do diversification involving plantains, cassava and cocoa. According to her, cassava and plantains have a big role to play in times of droughts and serve as shades. She encouraged farmers to do replanting, and also divide cocoa farms into four blocks. She counseled that any cocoa tree above 40 years is wastage becauseof very poor yields.

Tambe Thomas Tabot, Divisional Officer, DO, for Muyuka, who presided at the graduation ceremony, noted that the importance of such training in the nation is not farfetched. He continued that, it was an important day because farmers are the back bone of the society. In his opinion, the training has brought into the limelight the techniques some farmers were not aware of. The DO furthered that they will now be square pegs in square holes. He implored the farmers to shelve the spirit of timidity and consider they are very important personalities in the country. He encouraged the farmers to apply in the field that which they have been taught so as to double their yields.

According to Arrah Emmanuel Etchu, representative of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, such training is of utmost importance. He stated that it would not only help farmers to produce good quality cocoa, but equally serve as a source of employment. He added that with the skills acquired, many shall prune or spray their neighbours’ farms and earn extra money. However he expects that the farmers in return should practise what they have been taught on their farms and be organized. He advised that those who have not undergone the training should endeavour to do so.  Arrah stated that, going by the policy of the country by 2035, the nation should be exporting high percentage of certified cocoa. Hence if the cocoa has to be certified, then producers have to be well trained, maintaining international standards in their production.

Egoh Donaldson, a trainee stated that before now, he had been ignorant of the proper method of pruning his farm. But with the training he is now skilled in pruning which he loves so much. He promised to take back the knowledge to his neighbours, teach and also invite them to his farm for an examination of those trees that were not producing which now bear. He added that they have been facing a challenge in the price of cocoa because they were ignorant of how good cocoa is produced. But with the training, he believes that such challenges would be solved.

By Relindise Ebune

Demolition deadline elicits anxiety among Yaounde swamp dwellers

If the six-month demolition deadline recently ordered by the Mayor of the Yaounde VI Council relating to inhabitants of the valley in the vicinity of ‘’Guarantee Biyem-Assi’’ is anything to go by, then victims have barely four months to know their fate, two months into the issuance of the order that has seen over one hundred houses being earmarked for demolition. Anxiety, disbelief and helplessness have gripped these inhabitants as the days go by in the countdown to the demolition exercise, even as they fulfill the formalities sanctioned by the mayor’s order.

Taniwan Bertin, had been energetically emptying a drainage in his backyard at the moment The Rambler sought to know his feelings with the imminent demolition of his house situated behind the steep slope of ‘’Guarantee Biyem-Assi,’’ commonly referred to in the area simply as ‘’pays-bas Biyem-Assi.’’

‘’If the Council authorities actually mean business to destroy our houses without compensating us adequately, I believe I may just develop a heart attack,’’ Mr. Taniwan,is a ‘’truck pusher’’ in his late thirties and a father of six children lamented. He lives with his family in a three-room house which he toiled and constructed barely three years ago. He recounts: ‘’when they marked our houses for eventual destruction, they requested every owner to go and deposit a photocopy of the land title, building permit, national identity card and telephone number. I have already fulfilled these requirements.’’ Quizzed on whether he had an idea of the motive of the order, he said ‘’I learn this order is because we are living in a swampy area but this is a false pretext because we have constituted a local vigilante committee here which arranges all drainage systems that are susceptible to overflow when heavy rain falls.

The situation of Mr. Taniwan, mirrors that of hundreds other inhabitants of swampy areas in the Biyem-Assi neighbourhood of Yaounde. Situated directly behind ‘’Guarantee BiyemAssi,’’ it covers an expanse of swampy land, which has for long attracted many people from across Cameroon who had come and constructed their houses. But an order by the newly-elected Mayor of Yaounde VI Jacques Yoki Onana, on October 31 this year, marked all houses constructed on this swampy land for eventual demolition within a six-month deadline.

One other inhabitant had this to say: “We don’t know what the council authorities want again because at the time we were constructing these houses, they collected FCFA 35,000 on two different occasions from us. Were they not aware then that the area was swampy? More frustrating, we paid for this very piece of land twice from the owners who claim to be the aborigines of this area. The first time they collected FCFA 5,500 per square metre while the second time they collected FCFA2,500per square metre. If they really mean to destroy our houses, they should continue. We are tired of this.’’

This other inhabitant laments the nature of the area in question. “I have lived here for over seven years. When it rains, we suffer from flooding since some of our neighbours construct without respecting the various drainage systems erected causing water to inundate our houses.”

Meanwhile, a source which opted for anonymity confided in The Rambler that the phenomenon of marking houses in the nation’s capital for eventual demolition is recurrent and often used as a maneuver to extort money from owners of houses. ‘’some of the houses are even marked just as a sabotage or to settle scores with their enemies’’ the source hinted.

By Nalova Akua Mambeh

‘Sourobat’ promises 50% execution of Kumba -Ekondo road by April 2018

Following the numerous complaints about the bad nature of the Kumba Ekondo Titi stretch of road, slow pace of construction and rumours of abandonment of work by ‘Sourobat’ Company, its director has reassured users that construction work has resumed.

The Tunisian road construction company has announced that by April 2018, they must have attained a 50 percent realization rate of work done.

This assurance was made public on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, to the Governor of the Southwest Region Bernard Okalia Bilai and his entourage as they paid a working visit to the construction site and equipment pool at Small Ekombe village during his just ended administrative and security coordination meeting to Kumba.

Addressing the press shortly after a technical presentation of the situation by the head of the company, the Governor said: “we came to see how work is going. We are satisfied that work has actually resumed.” He further explained that, “the company has told us the work was delayed because of the heavy and extended period of the rains this year. But the company is promising that by March to April they will obtain a 50 percent execution of work done.”

In order for the company to meet up with their promises of execution, the Governor equally used the media present to appeal to the people of the Southwest and particularly to the people of the area concerned to ensure a safe working environment for the workers.

“We know that recently there are a lot of threats and if those people are threatened, work will not continue. That is why I came with all my stakeholders to reassure the population that they are secured.” He said the Government that initiated the project is ever determined to develop the Region together with support of the population.

Talking to the chiefs of Small Ekombe H.R.H. Lawrence Kombe expressed satisfaction. “Seeing the calibre of dignitaries present here, we are very happy. From today, we expect to see a different colour of the road and of course a different colour of the village. My people at first thought this company was joking because of the numerous postponements but seeing this visit today they are assured the work is a reality,” Chief Kombe added.

Though ‘Sourobat’ is so confident of 50 percent delivery by April, critics hold that this promise might not be fulfilled, given that statistics revealed by Wallington Tanyi Tanyi, Regional Delegate of Public Works holds the company with eight percent work done so far as of November 29, 2017 with 48 percent time already consumed. This therefore means that for the company to meet up with work and time, they must employ more workers and will have to work 24/7 daily till April.

By Ngende Esther

 

SDO, Fon highlight Lebialem prime problem

Lebialem SDO: Ungitoh Zachariah (middle)

HRM Fon Asabatong of Fontem

The pervasive fixture of poor road infrastructure in almost every part of Cameroon, particularly, in his area of jurisdiction has impelled the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO for Lebialem, Zachariah Ungitoh to lament that “The problem of the Lebialem man is first and foremost the roads. It is a Division that is very enclave and His Excellency the Governor of the Southwest Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai knows this.”

The embattled SDO made this revelation in a recent chat with The Rambler in Menji, headquarters of Lebialem Division.

He said his greatest wish has been that the measures being taken by the Minister of Public Works following instructions from the Prime Minister to improve the stretch of road from Dschang to Menji and even right down to Bakebe be realized so that, one can freely get into Menji from both ends.

According to the SDO, he has not had it easy accessing the Division because most parts are inaccessible. He said he has been managing to succeed because he has accepted that he is now a member of all Bangwa families and of course, a Bangwa man. “That is the posture I have used to be able to maintain peace in this Division; trying to relate, smile, and talk peace with everybody. I agree that I am a Bangwa man,” said Ungitoh.

On the accusations that Lebialem is the most recalcitrant Division in the Region, the SDO disqualified the allegations stating: “Lots of people think Lebialem Division is the worst in the whole of Southwest Region. I disagree. I will say that the socio-political condition of Lebialem as at today is not the worst.”

He however confirmed that despite his strategy of talking peace ever since he was installed on August 13, Lebialem remains the last in terms of school reopening. Irrespective of circumstances, SDO Ungitoh said he was very optimistic that in the days ahead, schools in his jurisdiction will reopen and the Lebialem man was not hostile.

Adding his voice to that of the SDO, Fon Asabatong of Fontem Fondom recalled: “When my father, late Fon Njifua became Senator, he pinpointed the major problem of Lebialem people to be roads. Today, the first five problems of my people remain the road. Our major cry is our roads.”

Thanking God and appreciating Government for work done so far, the Fon said the Lebialem man remains hopeful that sooner their problem of impassable and poor road network would be resolved.

Besides the above worries, both the SDO and the Fon agreed that despite the crisis, they thank God because their Division and Fondom respectively, remains one of the few, that throughout the crisis has not lost any lives by way of shooting. Both men said they stay hopeful and are doing their utmost to see that activities in their areas of influences stabilize and life return to normal.

By Nester Asonganyi

Bio-scientists challenge Gov’t to encourage research

Government, in its characteristic style of preaching one thing and doing the other, particularly, as pertains to infusing cutting edge science oriented paradigms and requisite funding into tertiary levels of education has pushed the Cameroon Bioscience Society, CBS, to expose the gaping need for greater attention to bioscience research in the country in order to enable bio-scientists contribute remarkably to the country’s 2035 emergence vision.

They made the appeal Thursday, November 30, in Buea during their 24th annual conference on the theme; ‘Bioscience research for Cameroon’s Emergence.’

Participants at the 24th Cameroon Bioscience Society Conference

Going by the seventh President of CBS, Prof. Elias Nunkenine, the number seven means completeness and perfection; and they are going to be aggressive in pushing the implementation of biosciences, so that the impact of research can be felt in the society. He said publishing findings without promoting same in the community has little or no meaning and so, within his three-four years at CBS Presidency, he will seriously push research from the laboratory to the public.

“Other stakeholders like Government should give us support. You can have the brain, but without a laboratory or money, you will do nothing. We have the minimum but need some improvement. We need support from Government, donors and thelocal population because, to know the people’s want, you must ask from them. What they are used to, is what we will modify and see how we can adapt,” Prof. Nunkenine stated.

Participants agreed that Cameroon scientists have been doing good research but that unfortunately, it has not been development orientated and is taking the country nowhere because the objectives are not clearly defined.

According to one of the members of the National Bureau of the Cameroon Bioscience Society, Prof. Fidelis Chungwa, the people controlling the resources should know that investment in bioscience is very good. “If Government were to put for instance, FCFA 2 billion into research today, you can be sure that in 10 years, that FCFA 2 billion would have brought in maybe FCFA 50 billion,” he averred.

Emphasizing on the need for Government to support science, Dr. George Enow Orock, pathologist, elaborated on epidemiology challenges in Cameroon that can hinder “Vision 2035.” He said scientists are very enthusiastic to work but are not encouraged due to the lack of political will to foster bioscience research in the country. Insisting that only a healthy population can work and take the country to emergence, Enow Orock advised that Government must begin to see the role of bioscience if it must attain ‘Goal 2035.’

Representing the Vice Chancellor, VC, of the University of Buea at the Conference was Prof. Lucy Ndip, who emphasized that bioscience’s missions today is to promote community outreach through research. In this regard, she continued, the need arises to build a network of scientists that will harness all knowledge gained in all their research projects and see how Cameroon can emerge in 2035.

She noted that scientists in the Faculty of Science in UB were doing good research, especially in the area of biotechnology and health research. “Health is wealth and we think that if these scientists put their resources together, we will actually emerge.”

The three-day conference brought together participants from within and without the country. It is expected that with the enlightenment from the conference, researchers will have to rethink, modify research models, forget old ways of doing things and above all, believe in themselves in order to reduce dependence because, they have practically most of what it takes to be emergent.

By Nester Asonganyi

Young ‘mungwin’ catchers disappear, reappear

Whether it takes the colouration of poverty or simple adventure as inducement, the hunt for ‘Mungwin’ or edible green grasshoppers has become an intriguing phenomenon in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. Not even cases of accidents from encounters with unruly drivers and missing loved ones have been able to dissuade devotees of this adventure from reveling in the nightly sorties.

It is in response to this fad that inhabitants and Christians of the Catholic Church Mile 4 Bamenda Nkwen are now heaving a sigh of relieve after two missing schoolboys who had gone hunting for mungwin were found and returned home to their family Monday, November 27.

Boris and Louis, sons of Rene Ngu had been missing since Friday, November 25, 2017 around the Mile 2 neighbourhood on their way from school. The boys aged 11 and eight reportedly left home for school on Friday, but never returned.

According to the account of the event as narrated by the father Rene Ngu when contacted, his fear had gone beyond imagination. “I feared the worst had happened to my boys. I have been traumatized since they went missing and the fear worsened because I could not say exactly where and how they had gone missing. They don’t live with me. They have been with their grandmother since she lives by the school they have been attending. She only called me late Friday that they boys had not returned from school. I was frightened that maybe they had been kidnapped. Because you know since threats have been going around that children should not go to school, anything could have happened to them.”

According to him, with the curfew that was in force, he quickly went around that day in search of them but had to return home before 10pm. “After making several reports on the case to the police and some announcements in church and around, two days went by and nobody turned up with any news of the where about of the boys. Considering it was weekend, nobody could give a directive at the boys’ school. It was until late Sunday evening that a woman from around Veterinary Junction called and said she had found the boys around a garage.”

According to Boris, the older of the two, they had left school then got distracted by grasshoppers popular known as “munguin,” which were falling around the road on their way back from school. So they dropped their bags to catch some of the grasshoppers only to come back and could not find their bags. Then for fear of returning home without the bags they went in search of them.

“We did not see our bags when we came back. We had to look for the bags we slept in a car at a garage for two nights. All the “munguin” we caught, we sold it for 1300frs and I bought sleepers for my brother, then we bought bread and juice until one aunty came and took us to our father. I did not know where we were again,” Boris recounted.

Inhabitants of the neighbourhood where they live had been panic stricken as many said they feared the kids might have been kidnapped, especially, as threats on schools, children and parents for continuous school boycott has persisted. Many Christians who got the announcement of the missing kids in church indicated they wouldn’t be sending their children to school unless a clarification is given on where the boys had gone.

By Jean Marie Ngong Song