North West Bushfires: CAMGEW guides on prevention and management

By Bakah Derick 

The Bamenda-Cameroon headquartered not for profit environment and women centered issues Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) has intensified sensitization campaigns on the prevention and management of bushfires in the North West Region especially in protected areas. 
burning bee hive

The two working sessions organised in Bamenda ahead of the start of the dry season being the period during which bushfires are common, the Director of CAMGEW, Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy outlined the havoc caused by bushfires hence engaging them the more into prevention and management.  

"The leaders and stakeholders were made to see the need for solidarity in fighting bushfire. Considering that the forest has much to offer in different ways ti its community it was therefore necessary to see a huge community engagement in the fight against bushfire. CAMGEW wishes to thank GEF Small Grant Programme for supporting the production of this guide to fight bushfire." Sevidzem Ernestine Leikeki CAMGEW Forest Social and Women Empowerment Officer  noted

Emmanuel Binyuy and collaborators at a bushfire side 

The community leaders drawn mostly from the Kilum-Ijim forest area admitted that bushfires are a serious threat to their livelihood. They identified areas in Bikov, Atumekui, Belo, Abassakom, Oku and Njinikom mostly affected by bushfires. 

As to how to prevent the bushfires, it emerged from the session that; fire tracing and back burning, patrols, sensitization against bushfires,  communicating on various punishment that awaits defaulters, Developing of agroforestry systems in farms around forest peripheries, Green Firebreaks that separate the forest from the farms with evergreen vegetation, Ban of smoking in the forest and farms around the forest amonagts could be of great help. 
"I am happy that these community leaders are underatanding the need to prevent these bushfires. So far we we identified Training on bushfire management techniques, Use of fire suppression techniques (Confine, Contain or Control Strategies), Fire line Safety and First Aid, Fire Volunteers, Use of water to quench the fire,  monitor fires etc as some of the best ways to manage the the bushfires" Emmanuel Binyuy said.

The community leaders returned to their base with the commitment to actively engage in the prevention and management of bushfires so as to protect the forest area which is a major source of livelihood for them and others.

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