Development Has no Political Party-Francis Wache

The remark was made by Mayor Francis Wache during his home coming visit to Buea on April 10, 2016, in which he rallied the Noni people, urging them to remember their roots and to put the development of Noni above party politics.

In his speech, Mayor Wache said he laid partisan politics to rest after the 2013 election and since then, has been working for the good and development of Noni as a whole. In the Mayors words, ‘I have created my party, the NDP Noni Development Party. In line with developing Noni, the mayor made a clarion call, urging the Noni people to bring back all developmental strategies and experiences garnered from their stay out of Noni so that when they ultimately return home to spend their last days, they can always look back with satisfaction at what they did for their homeland. Amongst some of the projects that are being masterminded by the Noni council, are that of electrifying Djottin with funding to be provided by the World Bank, The Lassin electrification project to be funded by African Development Bank, A Community radio, alongside many road projects to enhance movement in the municipality.

The Noni community in Buea pledged their support to their mayor’s road, electrification and other projects, urging other Noni people to keep aside party politicking and instead use their energies to develop their homeland. It was suggested that the mayor in his road projects should agree to work with other councils on a win-win road network that will open up the area. The people also regretted that schools have been created by the government but with no classrooms, forcing the burden on the parents and local community. On the electrification projects that the Noni council has engaged in, suggestions from Buea were that they mayor and the council should look for its own electricity source like maing use of its waterfall, biomass energy and other energy sources in order to curb dependency on the national grid that has become very unreliable.

To ensure sustainable development in Noni, it was strongly advised that the Mayor should do everything within his power to unite the people back at home. This, they explain is because the people have long been seeing their selves as belonging to one particular village or the other, which is bad the development of Noni as a whole. Similar to the unity problem back in Noni, was that faced by the Noni community in Buea. The case of Buea was quickly intervened and solved by the Mayor in what he called a municipal decree appointing the leaders of his people in Buea with Frederick Mbongku at the head.

Francis Wache has lived in Buea for over three decades as a media practitioner and his visit to Buea was a conclusive tour that he has been making to Noni Communities living in the diaspora. The People maintained that they are ready to celebrate Wache’s achievements, noting that under his leadership, Noni has achieved a lot in terms of developmental projects more than what other regimes have had to offer the people. In their representatives words,”As a journalist, the Noni people celebrated your writings and frankness…we are still ready to celebrate you as a father of development and we want your name to be engraved in the Noni hall of fame”.

 

 

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UB Sends out First batch of Trainee Clean Energy Experts

The University of Buea on April 21 2016 sent out 21 trainees of 16 councils in the southwest region who have undergone six months of intensive training in setting up and sustaining renewable energy plants.

The training of 21 council workers by the University of Buea’s Faculty of Engineering was in line with a partnership the institution signed with some 31 councils in the Southwest region. According to the Dean of the faculty of Engineering Prof. Emmanuel Tany, the Roadmap for realizing the projects was drawn up in March 2016 and visibility studies for the construction of Solar, Wind, hydroelectricity and biomass energy systems were carried out. He further explained that so far, three solar energy prototype systems have been developed to meet the needs of different geographical areas and populations.

At the end of the training exercise, each trainee is said to have carried out a mini project in line with what they were taught. Addressing the 21 trainees, the Vice chancellor of the University of Buea, noted that the University has moved away from big books to harvesting and using knowledge from the big books to impact the society. She stressed on the importance of green energy stating that it was not just a struggle in Cameroon, but a global struggle to make the planet a better and friendly place.

The VC also discouraged a habit which she qualifies as bad, noting that people beg for amenities, spoil them and then come to beg again. To her, “a country without engineers is lost and there is no guarantee for development”. She went further to note that UB will continue to train others in the field of energy as their partnership with councils will continue after the graduation of the trained personnel. To her, similar problems like that of electrifying the communities are a problem that needs to be fixed by the communities and not by a white man as the conception has always been.

Speaking to the press after the certificate award ceremony, the dean of the faculty of Engineering Prof. Emmanuel Tany noted that it will not be sustainable for them to be moving around the region in in order to fix little problems but rather expect the trainees to put into practice their acquired skills to stand up to expectation. One of the trainees Newton Nakende from Kombo Itindi rejoiced that they have acquired the required skills but noted that their greatest problem will be equipment to work with in their various municipalities.

Teachers Petition CONAC to Probe SW Sec. Education Delegate

The decision by the South West Regional delegate of Secondary Education Mr. Ngundu Francis to sideline names of those who did not ‘compile documents’ required to be eligible for transports allowances has been described by the young teachers as a measure to “syphon” the funds.

Before beckoning CONAC to intervene, the teachers had taken a drastic move through a peaceful march to their the regional delegation of secondary education in Buea, where they were snubbed, to Governor Okalia’s office in Buea. After discussions with the Secretary General at the Governor’s office Mr. Clement Fon Ndikum, the teachers were reassured that their transport allowances would be paid. The twist in the issue came when some of the teachers were sidelined because they did not compile documents.  The teachers have maintained that in other regions, their colleagues where promptly paid irrespective of whether they compiled documents or not.

According to the teachers, “while other regions paid its En cour d’integration (ECIs) with no strings involved, the South West Region has introduced stumbliing blocks”.

The teachers ‘Awaiting Integration’ were posted to the South West Region on December- 5- 2014 and re-deployed to the various colleges across the region on March 2015. With the recent crisis the young teachers say they are left with no option other than seeking the timely intervention of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, CONAC, to probe into the accounts into which payment of the said transport allowances were made.

A teacher who preferred to be called Buh Mai Stanley, regretted that “No ministerial text compels ECI teachers to compile any documents before  their payment is done but as a measure to embezzle the funds some regional delegates like Mr. Ngundu Francis of the South West Region have resulted into illegal instructions”,.

In one of the instances caught on record by the media an official of the personnel office room number 19 at the regional delegation told the ECI teachers “Look at your name down stairs, just come and tell me your school and your number, for administrative reasons we don’t paste out information that has money, so when your friends were making all that noise there it was uncalled for, you find the same file, for administrative reasons you don’t know who are those passing around”.

The lists of names pasted at the notice board of the regional delegation were photocopied with the column for amount deliberately streaked off. The needy ECIs expressed the wish for a prompt action from CONAC before things run out of hand.

The teachers cry is coming at a time when Minister Ngalle Ernest of Secondary Education is barely 7 months in office and what the teachers refer to as unethical habits being manifested they say its time, it is time for him to set a learning example for subsequent lawbreakers to copy as they say this might just be one among several lapses in most of the regional delegations.

The delegate is accused of vehemently refusing to pay teachers who didn’t ‘compile documents’ their rights to transport allowances which are statutory to all government ECI teachers.

This batch of ECIs posted to the South West it should be recalled were the last to be re-deployed country-wise to the various schools.

To Curb Corn Importation, MBASMAGRA Engages in Massive Corn Production

The project to increase maize production in Cameroon by Mbasmagra cooperative was an initiative and agreement signed with Agricultural Investment and Market Development Project (PIDMA) on April 24 2016 to produce 240 tons of corn to feed industries and groups in Cameroon that depends on imported corn.

 

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PIDMA executive Samuel Yen and Mr. Stephen Song Mbatang signing contract

To materialize their dreams of Cameroon and its industries being independent of imported corn that has now been outlawed, PIDMA provided one and half ton of quality pannar12 seeds said to be high yielding. The seeds will be planted in 60 hectares of land, and according to experts, it will produce over 240 tons of corn. Speaking to reporters after signing a deal with Mbasmagra, Mr. Samuel Yen, the regional coordinator of PIDMA stated that, as oppose to the local seed whose production capacity ranges from one and a half to two tons per hectre, the hybrid pannar12 seeds imported from South Africa can produce at least four tons per hectare, double what the local seeds produces.

According to the PIDMA, MBASMAGRA contract, 500tons of maize to be planted in three shifts will be done using the Pannar12 quality and chemically treated seeds to be planted in 60 hectares of corn in Koke, Kombo in Mbonge Sub division of Meme in the Southwest region.

On his part, the president of Mbasmagra cooperative, Mr. Stephen Song Mbatang outlined that some of the problems they have faced comprised of difficulties when it came to financial contributions, inputs meant for the farm being carried away by some members, amongst others. To restrain the difficulties faced, Mr. Stephen Song Mbatang announced that an administrative unit alongside a good storage facility would be built in their farm to ease control and enhance better management of the cooperative and its members. According to Mr. Stephen Song Mbatang the cooperative feeds at least 500 families.

Mr. Stephen Song acknowledged that the Cameroon government provided 50 percent of the funding they received through the World Bank and under PIDMA. He stated that with the funding received, their farmers now have some hope. He noted that their cooperative is made up of young farmers most of whom have had training in agriculture.

Commenting on the president’s call  for youths to engage in Agriculture, Mr. Stephen noted that the idea is a good and very important one but noted that that for farming to be made reasonable and productive, the pattern needs to be changed, so that those engaging in the field have good training. To him, engaging in the soil business needs to be done in an intelligent way in order to guarantee good results. To him, president Biya’s speech should be accompanied by training of youths in the sector and not just a verbal call. The Mbasmagra farm spans over 500 hectares used mainly for cultivating maize and cassava.