Official close of the hand washing campaign

Over 2000 school children have participated at the official close of a week long campaign to promote hand washing in schools across Bamenda.

Three Weeks ago COMINSUD in collaboration with the regional delegation of water and Energy for the North West Region launched a sensitization campaign to promote the habit of hand washing in schools.This campaign officially ended on Friday the 14th of October 2016 during the commemoration of global hand washing day with soap in the North West region of Cameroon.

During the campaign period,COMINSUD reached out to 19 schools,approximately 4000 school children and 36 teachers with information on the importance of Hand Washing with soap.The campaign period was also used to assess facilities available in schools to promote the habit of Hand Washing and together with school children develop possible solutions where necessary.

At the end of the handwashing campaign, a global handwashing day event was organised by COMINSUD and the delegation of water and energy for the North West, and celebrated in Government high school Bamendakwe.This event which was presided at by the Regional Delegate of water and energy for the North west region brought together over 200 school children from 5 participating schools from around Bamenda 1,2 and 3 subdivisions.The event was articulated by sketches,poems and quizzes which focused on the theme of the event “make hand washing a habit”

Representatives from the regional delegation of health present at the ceremony,also staged demonstrations of proper hand washing with soap alongside students and pupils from participating schools.At the end of the ceremony,participating schools,winners of the quiz and poetry competition were awarded prizes which will also facilitate the process of hand washing with soap and clean water.

Prize awarding ceremony in Ecokids project

 

The Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC) 2015/16, a competition within the Ecokids project, is over. After big efforts in greening their schools, improving on hygiene and sanitation as well as access to potable water and better waste management the evaluation team went round all the 27 schools.

The evaluation took place based on a ranking system that has been developed together with all the stakeholders and participating schools. In each school development of the four areas of the campaign (school greening, waste management, WASH, access to potable water) was assessed e.g number of trees, length of hedges, cleanliness of toilets, availability of hand washing facilities, toilet tissue, drinking water, number of dust bins etc.

Among the 18 participating primary schools these were the prize winners:
1. Presbytarian School Mendankwe
2. Government School Alankie
3. Government School Alamandum

Among the nine secondary schools two prizes were awarded:
1. Government Technical High School Alabukam
2. Baptist High School Mankon

In addition encouragement prizes were given to:

    • Full Gospel High School Nkwen for efforts in providing drinking water
    • Government Technical High School Chomba for good example of tree planting
    • Cameroon Baptist Convention School Musang for good practise in providing drinking water in class rooms
    • Presbytarian School Ntamulung for good practise in hygiene and sanitation
    • Government Primary School Bamenda Group II for good practise in erosion control
    • Government Primary School Nibung for good practise in waste separation

Prizes were given in the form of material, depending on the needs of the school (e.g. cutlasses, buckets, dust bins, spates, hoes) worth 50,000 frs (first prizes), 35,000 frs (2nd prizes), 25,000 frs (3rd prize). The encouragment prizes had a value of 15,000 frs each.

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Handing over of prizes

Financial assistance was provided to three schools because of extremely poor toilet facilities (20,000 frs each) and we are keen to see the improvement in the next academic year.

The host of the ceremony was BHS Mankon, that also offered a nice excursion through their premises, especially with regards to the environmentally-related activities.

In the school farm of BHS Mankon

In the school farm of BHS Mankon

Excursion round BHS Mankon

Excursion round BHS Mankon

The SSEC will be repeated in 2016/17 and we hope to have much more schools joining it for the betterness of our educational environment. The Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC), a competition within the Ecokids project is over. After big efforts in greening their School, improving on hygiene and sanitation as well as access to potable water

Monitoring of activities under the Safe School Environmental Campaign

Twenty seven schools were visited and P.S. Mendakwe in Bamenda I Sub Division is one. At this point in time the school can be noticed of many environmental improvements and changes.

With assistance of the COMINSUD staff, pupils and teachers planted 27 shady trees and many flowers. The school garden has crops and the school orchard is cleared. The pictures below will show the present situation of the school environment, and toilets being improved.

Tilling and clearing of the school surrounding

Tilling and clearing of the school surrounding

The lone poor dilapidated school toilet kept very clean

The lone poor dilapidated school toilet kept very clean

Pupils planting flowers and trees

Pupils planting flowers and trees

written by Derick Banadzem

EBAFOSA Cameroon launching ceremony in Yaounde

The launching ceremony took place on the 11th of March 2016 at the Municipal Circle in the nation’s capital Yaounde witnessed by a good representation from Civil society organizations of the North West Region.

The theme for the launch was “to contribute to the resilience of food security in Cameroon”. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country representative outlined that Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA) was created as part of the United Nations Environment Program to contribute to food security and to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Continental coordinator also mentioned that EBAFOSA seeks to combat food insecurity, climate change, ecosystems degradation and poverty in Africa. To achieve this it is usind an innovative approach that decentralizes the development and application of the policy solutions in the least bureaucratic channel to ensure immediate results are recorded at the grassroots in an inclusive, participatory way towards achieving the SDGs.

As part of the launching ceremony, there was the display of regional agricultural products. The North West regional delegation made up of 6 members from 4 different organizations (COMINSUD, NOWEFOR, Terre des Jeunes, and FAP) exhibited products like honey, honey wax, rice, coffee, processed soy beans and ginger, irish potato, spices and bitter cola.

With our experience in the areas of food security and protection of environment and our approach of working with communities we can surely provide good expertise to this platform.

Introduction of EBAFOSA to Civil Society Organizations in the NWR

Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA) is a continental framework that advocates a culture of Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EBA) towards the attainment of food security, sustainable agriculture, ecological productivity, as well as job creation, poverty reduction, value addition, and sustainable industrial development in Africa

EBAFOSA is the first Pan-African policy framework that provides a platform for all stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to develop and adopt policy solutions to promote EBA driven agricultural approaches which are essential for climate change resilience, ecosystems productivity, agriculture and food security. Through this platform, EBAFOSA sets to foster partnerships through branch formation in each African country including Cameroon.

The first regional information sharing and planning meeting held on Friday, 19th February 2016 with 18 participants from 16 organizations in the Mezam, Boyo and Ngoketunjia Divisions at the COMINSUD Hall. This meeting had as objective to share information on EBAFOSA as well as establishing a regional bureau.

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Ambe Bruno (COMINSUD) encourages participants to show interest within the platform so as to represent the Region well at the upcoming National Launch.

From a presentation on the content of EBAFOSA, it was worth highlighting the vision, mission, objectives and benefits to CSOs.

Vision
A food secured Africa with sustainable ecosystems.

Mission
To provide a framework for ecosystem based adaptation that ensures food security in Africa.

Objective

  • To promote environmentally friendly approaches to food production
  • To promote value addition for all EBA products by efficient technologies
  • To develop a regional monitoring and evaluation instrument on EBA

Benefits of EBAFOSA to CSOs

  • Provides a platform through which their mandate can be delivered at a broader scale, hence benefit more people
  • facilitates continental peer learning in techniques, approaches etc. for country NGOs from counterparts across the continent
  • fostering of technical capacity building for local NGOs through interactions with diverse stakeholders and especially research institutions, and the private sector

Mrs. Yeloma Ruth, an EBAFOSA member who attended the meeting in Yaounde on the visit of the Continental Coordinator to Cameroon on the 19th December 2015 shared some feedback from the meeting. Some key discussions went around the type of crops having proven added value, which could be cultivated in the North West Region apart from maize and cassava and also, using efficient techniques to upscale EBA driven agriculture in the  North West Region (NWR).

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An North West Regional EBAFOSA regional bureau was established with five executive members from different organizations whose duties commenced instantly.

Conclusively, participants were encouraged to continue carrying out awareness raising and for more organizations and individuals to jump on the EBAFOSA train.

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Representatives from 16 organizations in Mezam, Boyo and Ngoketunjia Divisions get knowledge on EBAFOSA.

Stakeholders promise support for schools in Bamenda

As the Safe School Environmental Campaign (SSEC) is unfolding, some stakeholders have made known the kind of support they will be putting in, by the end of the campaign.

In a discussion with the Regional delegate for environment, protection of nature and sustainable development, Mr. Moma Henry Awah, he pledged environmental friendly trees and seedlings for the sustainability of school environments.

Christabel Neh (COMINSUD) in the meeting with Mr. Moma Henry Awah

Christabel Neh (COMINSUD) in the meeting with Mr. Moma Henry Awah

At the “Regional delegation for Water and Energy”, the newly appointed delegate as at now, is looking at delegating a committed staff to join the campaign’s monitoring and evaluation team.

Meeting in the office of the Regional Delegate for water and energy

Meeting in the office of the Regional Delegate for water and energy

The team will soon start accompanying the 27 schools in carrying out their action plans on their campuses as well as monitoring and evaluation as per a ranking system that has already been drafted.

We wish the schools within the SSEC all the best as they compete in sustaining and making their schools safe for learning.

Safe School Environmental Campaign on the go!

Officially launched by Mr. Fon Nsoh and some stakeholders in the education, environment, water and energy domains, 28 schools in Bamenda I, II and III have unanimously expressed interest in the campaign and have developed environmentally friendly action plans such as school greening, waste management, access to portable water, hygiene and sanitation to be implemented in their schools.

With proper implementation of the above action plans, are we not sure of safer school environments?