Climatic Changes: Africa’s Great Green Barrier


Africa has one of the largest deserts in the world. Half of the northern region, known as Sahara experiences 80% drought throughout the year. Deforestation is at the top, causing all this troubles. Northern Cameroon is one of the areas where human activities have led to poor climatic changes.


Camp of Minawao, the northern Cameroon region, hosts almost 70,000 refugees. They made their way into the country after jihadist violence that took place in Nigeria, 2014. Since then, the area has faced many challenges, becoming a burden even to the national government.


The Lutheran World Federation(LWF) and the UNHCR started a program to fight against deforestation. They launched the program in early 2018. One Nigerian refugee, Lydia Yacoubou, was open about the tree planting activities. She admitted how the project has turned every place green. She continued, “There are a lot of benefits to that. We have shade from the sun, the soil has improved and the trees attract water’.


The refugees were under strict training on how to cater for trees. The trainer impacted them with the knowledge of how the seedlings can survive under harsh climatic conditions. For sure, in arid areas, you must consider the type of trees to grow. We have those that might not survive even for a week due to warm conditions.


Furthermore, the refugees in the camp use a variety of sources of energy. Unlike other areas in Africa, the community is trying to minimize the use of wood as a source of energy. They are busy employing reusable sources of energy.


There are minor workshops where the refugees change the waste into productive materials. After recycling, they come up as fresh products to be re-used. Other waste materials are kept at a point where government tricks have come to pick up for large company recycling processes. The teams are very organized when it comes to dumping their non-biodegradable waste.


Most of the boards in the camp focus on reforestation. They believe planting two trees per head is essential to future good climatic changes. The refugees also believe that it will be an added advantage to their next generation. By now, the planted trees are almost 5 meters tall depending on the type. Every family has its own territory where they make sure their trees are watered.


The community has leaders who go around creating awareness of the importance of trees. They also warn people about the disadvantages of deforestation. Of course, cutting down trees anyhow is a bad practice for the climate. We all need rain, water is life. Challenges such as cutting wood have to be avoided at all costs.


LWF project manager Abdul Aziz said they have a strategy with UNHCR on how they can avail other sources of energy. A project like the eco-friendly briquettes will be of good help to the refugees and the whole nation at large.


The camp project is showing some positive attributes. They have promised to extend the awareness and change over 8000 kilometer lands into green nature. The Sahel desertification must end.



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