It is almost 6pm. A group of kids are plying their craft in a dusty, dirty courtyard in a poor neighbourhood in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital. That craft is football. They kick the once-white-but-now-brown, aged football around. One child is barefoot, the other wears worn shoes and is dressed in the kit of the national team.
Senior defence officials say that Cameroon has been infiltrated by Nigeria’s Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and there are fears that this central African nation, known for its stability, is drifting into chaos.
“I can’t wait to return back home,” Celeste Edjangue, a refugee from the Central African Republic (CAR) now in Cameroon’s East Region, told IPS.
A project to reclaim agricultural land lost to eucalyptus plantations is bearing fruit in Cameroon.
Essomba Dominique, a Baka man from Mindourou in Cameroon’s East Region, sits dulled-eyed in front of his hut, known in the Baka language as the ‘mongoulou’.
Sabina Shey Nkabiy, a farmer in Cameroon's North West Region, moves around these days with a million-dollar smile on her face. The mother of six, who used to trek 10 kilometres a day to farm, now harvests food in her backyard.
“We couldn’t stand the violence anymore,” said 27-year-old Baba Hamadou shortly after alighting from a chartered flight at the Douala International Airport earlier this week.
Adamou Harouna’s herd of cattle grazes leisurely on lush green vegetation in Ndop, a small village in Cameroon’s North West Region.
Thomas Effiom, a 35-year old fisher in Jabane, a small locality in Cameroon’s Bakassi Peninsula, scoops off floodwaters from the muddy floor of his house. It is a ritual he performs each time the Atlantic Ocean overflows.
Approaching the Lake Chad basin from Gulfe, a small locality 45 kilometres from Cameroon’s Far North Regional capital Maroua, the atmosphere of despair is palpable: dusty air, fierce and unrelenting winds, wilting plants and sand dunes suggest that this once lush area is undergoing a terrible change.
Cameroon’s new biometric registration of voters may end up disenfranchising many potential voters, especially women in the country’s predominantly Muslim north where cultural practices may prevent them from having their photos taken.
Clarisse Kimbi barely ekes out a living from a tiny parcel of land in Kom village in the North West Region of Cameroon. Today, the mother of six finds it hard to put food on the table for herself and her children. But five years ago she, her husband and children were considered well-off.
Victorine Fomum is Cameroon’s 2005 African table tennis champion. She often used to “train without rackets, without balls, without appropriate clothing and without good tables.” But despite this, she won gold at the 2005 African Nations Championship. And as a reward for her achievement the government handed her a cheque – for 25 dollars.
As Lysette Mendum listens to the sound of bulldozers crashing through the forest clearing a road to a mining site near her small village of Assoumdele in the Ngoyla-Mintom forest block in Cameroon’s East Region, she has never been more fearful in her life.
Olivier Forgha Koumbou washes some freshly picked carrots in a small brook and eats them with relish. His thriving farm in Santa, in Cameroon’s North West region, looks like a miracle in the midst of surrounding farms where carrots, lettuce, potatoes and leeks have withered and died.