Stories written by Ngala Killian Chimtom

Keeping the Veil on Women’s Electoral Participation

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.

Giving Women Land, Giving them a Future

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.

Cameroonian Athletes Braving the Odds

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.

Cameroon’s Baka Evicted from Forests Set Aside for Logging

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’s son waters his thriving farm in Santa, in Cameroon’s North West region.  Credit: Ngala Killian Chimtom/IPS

Cameroonian Farmer Won’t Let Low Rainfall Defeat Him

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.

Some 98 percent of Baka Pygmies do not register their children at birth, according to the international development charity Plan International. Credit: Ngala Killian Chimtom

Cameroon’s Baka Pygmies Seek an Identity and Education

Kokpa Pascale Moangue, a Baka Pygmy in southeastern Cameroon, has given his children the one thing he always longed for, but his parents could not give him – an education. And he was able to achieve it by obtaining a simple piece of paper: a birth registration certificate.

A nutritionist assesses the health of a child: red indicates severe malnutrition. Credit:  Kristin Palitza/IPS

Drought in Sahel Affects Urban Cameroonians

Sala Aminata, a housewife from the Logone and Shari Division in Cameroon’s Far North Region, looks at her six kids with apprehension as she tries to figure out how to feed them with her meagre salary.

Drought in Sahel Affects Urban Cameroonians

Sala Aminata, a housewife from Logone and Shari Division in Cameroon’s Far North Region, looks at her six kids with apprehension as she tries to figure out how to feed them with her meagre salary.

Cameroon’s Economy Suffers as Boko Haram Infiltrates Country

Ahmadou Lamine has been forced to close his business selling fuel imported from Nigeria, known locally as "zoa-zoa", because of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

CAMEROON: Anglophones Feel Like a Subjugated People

When Cameroon’s President Paul Biya announced that the 50th anniversary of the reunification of French and British Cameroon will take place later this year, it resurrected bitter feelings among Anglophone Cameroonians who say they do not feel like equal partners with their Francophone counterparts.

CAMEROON-CHINA: A Wedding with Uncertain Prospects

The Cameroon government is increasingly turning to China as a privileged partner in its development efforts. But there are many discordant voices who say the long-term effects of China’s economic relations with Cameroon could be disastrous for domestic industry.

CAMEROON: Stepping Naturally Away from Plastic

Maya Stella, a restaurant manager in the capital of Cameroon, no longer uses plastic to wrap the corn-fufu that she sells to her customers. She now uses banana or plantain leaves instead, because these are "natural and it is our African culture to use leaves in wrapping food."

Higher-lying neighbourhoods in Yaoundé like this one have seen their pipes dry up, as water pressure has dropped due to the growth in demand. Credit: Sustainable Sanitation/CC BY 2.0

CAMEROON: The Taps Have Run Dry

Mama Rosalie of Damas quarter in the capital of Cameroon trudges down a narrow, winding footpath, headed for a narrow stream running far below, a 20-litre water container in her right hand.

CAMEROON: Profits Only a Phone Call Away

These are awkward times for the men in the middle in Cameroon's Western Highlands. A profitable niche buying produce cheaply on farms, and supplying farmers with seed and fertiliser at premium prices has been shattered by the sound of a cellphone ringing.

Child receiving care in makeshift cholera treatment centre in Sirak, in Cameroon's Extreme North Region. Credit: Reinnier Kazé/IRIN

Government Under Fire As Cholera Epidemic Rages

This death toll from a cholera epidemic in Cameroon's North and Far North provinces stands at 420, according to public health minister André Mama Fouda. The outbreak of the waterborne disease throws an unwelcome spotlight on inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, particularly in the country’s rural north.

RIGHTS-CAMEROON: The Reverend Raped Me

A countrywide survey of the incidence of rape in Cameroon has returned disturbing statistics: 20 percent of the nearly 38,000 women surveyed reported having been raped; another 14 percent said they had escaped a rape attempt.

Cameroon is banking on funding to preserve forests as part of a new deal in Copenhagen. Credit:  Julie Langford/Wikicommons

CAMEROON: Gearing Up for Copenhagen

"Developed countries have failed to respect the Kyoto Protocol which compelled them to reduce latest 2008 emissions of greenhouse gases by five percent. There is therefore need for new engagements to be taken at the Copenhagen Summit." Decisive words from Cameroon's minister for the environment, Pierre Hele.

ENERGY-CAMEROON: Dam Project Questioned

Construction has begun on a new dam at the confluence of the Lom and Pangar rivers in Cameroon. The government is pushing the project as key to addressing an energy shortfall, allowing for economic growth; observers believe the plan may only increase the country's vulnerability to drought.

CAMEROON: Fears for Forest as Dam Construction Begins

Crouched on a low wooden stool in front of his mud hut in the village of Pangar, Alain Selembe puffs away at his clay pipe, his gaze lost in the surrounding forest, quite oblivious to the noise made by his two playing daughters. All he hears is the rumbling of bulldozers opening up a 30 kilometre road from Deng Deng village to the confluence of the Lom and Pangar rivers, where the government plans to construct a new dam.

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