Sunday, May 21, 2023

Bamenda: May 20 celebrated in pomp and style

Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique
Bamenda, yesterday May 20, 2023, joined in festivities across the national territory to celebrate the anniversary of Cameroon’s unitary  State focused on the theme: “Defence Forces and Cameroonian people in harmony to safeguard peace and national unity, bedrock of a strong and prosperous Cameroon”.

At the Bamenda Commercial Avenue ceremonial ground, the event which was presided over by Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique, opened with the hoisting of the National colours, after which he reviewed the troops.

Colonel Guy Chembou commanding the troops

The march-past which opened with the military parade saw detachments of all the units that make up the defence and security forces in Cameroon gracefully
march past under the admiration of the Representative of the State, Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique and other top military and administrative Dignitaries of the Region. 

It was not only a moment of pride for the respective contingents that paraded to  gracefully brandish a high sense of professionalism and  prowess of the Cameroonian Armed Forces; but their uniform footsteps and swinging of arms also  expressed their commitment and loyalty to safeguard republican institutions and the territorial integrity of the country. 

The military parade in the North West Region was under the command of Colonel Guy Chembou, Chief of staff at the 5th Joint Military Region, assisted by Lieutenant Colonel ABBA Saidou, Deputy commander of the NW Gendermarie legion

The military march-past was closely followed by a civilian parade comprised  of pupils, students, administrative units, youth organs and members of the CPDM ruling party. Numerous patriotic chants characterised this to recall the need for Cameroonians to be resilient and steadfast in the face of adversity and jealously preserve the indivisible spirit of nationhood. It also portrayed Cameroon’s rich cultural diversity, which is a cornerstone of her much-cherished unity.

The march past was powered by brass Band ochestra of the 5th joint military Region, with melodious rythms that  magnified the need for social cohesion and peaceful co-existence that needs to exist between the Cameroonian people and the Army.

The day culminated with a sumptuous dinner  offered by the Governor and his wife – Mme Lele Corine  at their Residence after which fire works that crowned the celebration of Cameroon's Unitary State.

Sunday, April 23, 2023



President of NWRA, Prof. Fru Angwafo III addressing the Assembly during the session 

The President of the North West Regional Assembly, Prof. Fru Fobuzshi ANGWAFO III, has called on the population of the Region to uphold good practices that seek to preserve our environment and promote climate impact,  so as to avoid the short comings of Global warning.

Cross section of Members of house of Chiefs 

Prof. Fru Angwafo III was speaking during the opening of the 10th ordinary session of the North West Regional Assembly that took place at Up Station Bamenda, from  April 17 -20, 2023.
The said session was dedicated to the presentation of accounts, presentations on the state of the Region by the Representative of the State,  Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique, the performance of the Regional
Executive Council presented by the  Regional Assembly boss, Prof Fru Angwafo III,  and adoption of the Regional Development Plan among other key issues. 

Cross section of Divisional Representatives 

Prof. Fru Angwafo III, stated that the environment is fast depreciating due to man’s unpleasant activities which are very dangerous to humanity and future generations.
He further listed a series of disasters that have greatly affected the region, with the most renowned of them being  the floods in the Nwa and Widikum that left many houses and properties destroyed; the storms in Oku that brought down many houses, vegetation and food crops etc. He proceeded with the constant floods in some parts of the Region that make life very difficult for its inhabitants. This is because of the poor waste management, poor house planning, bush fires, land reclamations and agriculture malpractices etc. 

The Regional Assembly boss, during the 10th ordinary session of the House, took out time to  decry such environmental malpractices and urged councillors of the house to educate, uneducate and re-educate inhabitants on the dangers of all such malpractices practices. 
He also called on the population to practice healthy climate and environmental preservation measures in order to sustain the ecosystem. He says all should implement the afforestation and re-afforestation policy so that our Region won’t bleed or suffer tremendous Environmental and Climate hazards in the future.

PREC, Prof. Fru Angwafo III,  planting a tree during world Forestry day 

It is against this backdrop that the Regional Assembly through its Executive Council President, joined the administration of the Region on Thursday April 21, 2023, in planting trees; an exercise that marked world Forestry day. The Regional Assembly urges the population to uphold good practices of preserving our environment and promoting positive climate change impacts by planting more trees - one family, one tree. 

By Ngene Sandra

Thursday, March 30, 2023

PPRD North West: PPRD Committee President Satisfied With Projects Execution Rates

Balungeli Confiance facing the Press
The Steering Committee for the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development (PPRD) has expressed satisfaction  at the execution levels of ongoing PPRD projects to rebuild the North West Region. 

"With what we have seen on the various project sites visited,  I can confidently say, the PPRD projects in the North West Region have  been satisfactorily executed. Where we had to advise we did, where we had to correct we did. The PPRD plan is working in the North West and we are steadily building back better". 

This are the words of the  PPRD Steering Committee President, Director of Cabinet at the Prime Minister's Office,  Balungeli Confinace Ebune as he spoke to the press yesterday, Wednesday March 29, 2023 in Santa Sub Division, Mezam Division , North West Region at the end of  their two-day working visit to the North West Region.

The last day itinerary of the 2-day working visit  took the Prime Minister's Special Envoy and his delegation to Sacred Heart Nursery and Primary School in Mankon, St Joseph Special School in Big Mankon, the Islamic Primary School in Old Town, CBC Primary School at Finance Junction, a water catchment extension in Bamendankwe Village and finally to the Santa Women's Multipurpose Hall. 

The Sacred Heart Nursery and Primary School project engulfed PNDP, the PPRD Project implementation partner, fcfa 55million, the Islamic School fcfa 27 million while the CBC Primary School costs them some fcfa 102 million. Peculiar about CBC Primary school just like the other schools is the fact  that the structures have been constructed and equipped taking into consideration disability inclusiveness. 

PPRD Chair and Governor Lele drinking from the inaugurated public tap

The high moment of the day two tour was at the water catchment extension in Bamendakwe where the PPRD Steering Committee President accompanied by the North West Governor,  Adolphe Lele LAfrique,  inaugurated and drank from the newly constructed public tap. 

The last phase of the project evaluation tour was in Santa Subdivision, Mezam Division wherein the Prime Minister's Envoy commended the Santa population for their resilience against the separatists. He also called on the few misguided youth, who are still in the bushes to drop their arms and embrace the Head of States Olive branch ofvpeace by joining the DDR centre.

Balungeli Confiance Ebune, further called on  the Santa population just like every other beneficiaries of the PPRD Plan to make good use of the projects received as well as guard them judiciously. "More projects are underway, provided you people create an enabling and peaceful environment for the projects to be executed",  he added. 

The Prime Minister's Envoy crowned  his working visit by thanking  Governor Lele Lafrique, the defence and security forces,  administrative and religious authorities, traditional rulers etc. for their commitment and relentless efforts towards ensuring peace in the Region.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

PPRD-NW/SW: Committee assesses execution levels in the North West

Balungeli Confiance Ebune, President PPRD steering committee

The steering Committee for the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development for the North West and South West Regions (PPRD-NW/SW), is currently on a working visit to the North West Region  today to evaluate the execution rate of works carried out under the mentioned plan. 

Singing of the national anthem 

Speaking during the event, the PPRD President who doubles as Director of Carbinet at the Prime Minister's office, Balungeli Confiance Ebune urged the population of the North West Region to collaborate with stakeholders involved in the reconstruction plan for the development of their region. "Time has come where we should take our destinies into our hands...we take it or shy to the threats of those who don't want development". He stated. He also saluted the efforts of the stakeholders involved in the reconstruction of the North West Region  and called on them to  accelerate this  reconstruction process to improve the livelihood of the population. 

NW Regional Coordinator UNDP 

Speaking for the implementing partner of the reconstruction plan, the United Nations Development Program, the North-West Regional Coordinator for UNDP,  Mme Mary Nyuyinui, outlined the level of execution in the Region, stating that the Presidential Plan has reconstructed and euipped four women  Empowerment centres, organised seven socio-cultural events, supported four media houses. For Infrastructure, 45 projects have been carried out and of these 45, thirty schools were  rehabilitated and equipped, seven health centres and 8 water points powered by solar.  Also, 200 farmers have their farms rehabilitated, 37 women cooperatives and a host of poultry farmers have been supported. The projects outlined cut across all the seven Divisions of the North West Region.

She also expressed the  difficulties faced in accessing some areas in the Region where projects had to be executed due to bad roads and insecurity. 

During the visit, it was revealed that  with initial start-up budget of fcfa 10 billion from the State, the PPRD received an additional fcfa 2.8 billion from the Japanese government, fcfa 1.5 billion at the start and  fcfa 1.3 billion this year. The plan is hugely supported by: the Islamic Development Bank, SABC, the Employers Union  Bank of Cameroon, GICAM amongst others.

Prof. Fru Fobuzshi ANGWAFO III 

In his own intervention,  Professor Fru Fobushzi Angwafo III, President of the North West Regional Assembly, appreciated the reconstruction plan for its role in ensuring the steady return to sustainable peace and normalcy in the Region. 
And seized the opportunity appeal to  UNDP to take into consideration the vulnerable population, and consider inclusiveness, in the implementation process.

Prof. Angwafo III also believes that, it is imperative for the Regional Assembly to partner with the PPRD, put together resources and reach out to the  Divisions and Sub Divisions in order to improve on the livelihood of the populations.

Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique 

On his part, the Governor of the North West Region, H. E Adolph Lele Lafrique while appreciating the level of execution of the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development in the North West, stated that;

"Many villages were empty, many have returned to open their small scale businesses. In Nkambe the local population has shown gratitude for the multipurpose hall given to them by the Head of State through the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development. 
"Though the road to Nkambe is horrible in some parts, the people are fade up and the population of the Northwest region in general are expecting that the PPRD will help them to rebuild back better." Governor Lele Lafrique added.

The first day of the working visit of the steering Committee for the Presidential Plan of Reconstruction and Development in the North West Region ended with a tour of some giant projects in  Bamenda III Municipality; namely, the Water Treatment Centre in Mente and the Full Gospel School in Nkwen. The tour to other sites where reconstruction is ongoing in the Region is expected to continue tomorrow March 29, 2023.

Accompanying Minister Balungeli were:  the North West Governor and his entourage, the President of the North West Regional Assembly, the SDO for Mezam, Mayors, Divisional Officers, Regional Delegates of: Communication, Water and Energy, Public Works, Basic and Secondary Education amongst other officials. 

It should be noted that the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West Regions (PPRD-NW/SW), was an off-shoot of the Major National Dialogue that held from September 30, to October 04, 2019 in Yaounde, that was  created by President Paul Biya is aimed at rebuilding and rehabilitating what existed before but had been destroyed in the course of the socio-political crisis in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon. 

Since its coming into   place on April 3, 2020, and for almost three years now, beneficiaries of this plan have attested to its effectiveness and vision to improving livelihoods.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Bamenda inhabitants queue for fuel as shortages hit the the city

Transporters lined up at Tradex, up station to take fuel

Scenes like this of people lining up at gas stations in Bamenda, have been common for the past  few days, jerrycans in hand are becoming common place. Most fuel stations have run out of diesel in recent days and those that have are now rationing it.

"There is no fuel all over the town, not even the illicit fuel (Fingeh). We heard, tradex has fuel, so we drove from Ntarinkon to come get even a little.  We can  been line up for 4 hours, 5 hours, just to get as little  as can run the car for the day. I've been here since 6 am," said ndonwi, a taxi driver.

Motorists waiting for their turns to get fuel

"There is already no fuel at other stations and where we find a little bit of petrol, we are told we can't fill our tanks," said Moffo Koumeni, a cab driver.

In the wake of scarce supplies of diesel and Super, transporters have increased transpotation fares. Prices of goods too are shooting up. While the fuel shortage situation is becoming unbearable for motorists and other transporters  in Bamenda and surrounding towns, denizens believe that the days ahead may be more precarious as per price hikes in petroleum products, should the scarcity continue".

"The lines you find in the gas stations is an impact.  It is a psychological moment, it is necessary to prepare the Cameroonian citizen for the worse. For instance,  we managed to find petrol here at Tradex up station, but given the scarcity, they are giving us a litre at 1500FCFA and even rationalising because of the number of people who are here to consume", said Mr. Chifor Pius, an urban transporter.

It should be noted that, on the international market, oil prices have soared and the state is finding it hard to continue subsidizing fuel. Fuel subsidies cost the Cameroonian Government over $1.2 billion a year and the state has come under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stop them.

By VictoryMarshal Ayafor 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

March 12 Senatorial Elections: NCC urges the Media to be responsible

Joseph Chebonkeng Kalabubse, President of NCC 

Ahead of the March 12, Senatorial Elections, the President of the National Communication Council, Joseph Chebonkeng Kalabubse has called on media practitioners in the North-West Region not to allow themselves to be used by political for their personal interests, but should report the elections with  objectivity, balance and fairness. 

NCC Delegation with journalists of the North West Region 

He was speaking during a  one day working session with media persons at the Regional Delegation of Arts and Culture on Friday March 3, 2023.

A meeting during which,  press men and women were given a handbook with guidelines on electoral coverage and code of conduct to adopt when reporting, come Sunday March 12, 2023.

Speaking to the press, Mr. Chebonkeng  highlighted the key role the media plays in the entire electoral process and called on them to report with objectivity,  while respecting professional ethics and deontology; not allowing  politicians to use them for their personal interests. The National Communication Council boss also urged the media in the Region to try as much as they can professionally speaking, to be a good reflection of a responsible press especially this election period.

"The peculiarity of the North West Region is that, it is a highly political Region, with two key political parties who are always very present. So when it comes to elections the stakes are heightened and we expect the press which is very vibrant to, during this campaign period give a true reflection of the reality on ground through responsible, fair, objective and balanced reporting that enables the voters to make informed choices".  He added.

Participants at the briefing

Speaking to one of the participants of the briefing, Loh Sera, of Boyo Community Radio expressed how timely the briefing was and how the 
Handbook for journalists during elections will help her do her work following  legal regulations and professional ethics. 

It should be noted that, the March 12, Senatorial Election marks the 3rd of its kind in the political history of our Nation and the very first time the North West Regional Assembly is taking part in the Senatorial Elections.

Campaigns are expected to end on the midnight of Saturday March 11, 2023 and only Municipal and Regional councillors are expected to decide the next 7 voted senators from the North West Region who will be in office for the next 5 years. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

HEALTH: NWRA-SMILE TRAIN committed to change the Region one smile at a time

Prof. Fru Angwafo III and Dr. Nicole Bouba sealing the partnership agreement with a handshake 

The NWRA and Smile Train on Thursday January 26th 2023 signed a health cooperation agreement that provides free treatment of cleft lip and cleft palate for the population of the Region.

Governor Adolphe Lele Lafrique giving a remark

The landmark ceremony, which brought together stakeholders from the government, civil society actors, media, grassroots leaders and the population was presided over by the Representative of the State, Governor  Adolphe Lele Lafrique.

Prof Fru Angwafo signs for NWRA while Dr Nicole Bouba signs for Smile Train 

The signed MoU, which  officially establishes a strategic health cooperation agreement between both  institutions, was signed by Prof. Fru Angwafo III, President, North West Regional Assembly and Dr. Nicole Bouba, Director of Smile Train for West and Central Africa.

Prof. Fru Angwafo III giving his keynote address 

In his keynote address , the President of the North West Regional Assembly Prof. Fru Angwafo III accentuated the government’s commitment towards enhancing public health, welcoming the partnership with Smile Train to support awareness and safe cleft treatment within the region. “By signing this memorandum of understanding, we have  literally opened the doors to assist families in need of cleft care in the Region. The MoU provides platform to create awareness in the North West Region on Cleft care while enhancing identification and referral of patients for free treatment. "This is a truly humanitarian agreement that meets the needs of the community of people with clefts. It restores their integrity, their dignity, and their speech, and procures smiles, cheers, happiness and sustained human development". The Regional Assembly boss  added.

Dr. Nicole Bouba facing the Press

Speaking to the Press, the Smile Train Program Director for West and Central Africa Dr Nicole Bouba revealed that the partnership will enhance the availability and quality of cleft treatment in the North West Region of Cameroon. She also  intimated that, Smile Train has supported more than 3000 cleft surgeries  since 2012 through its network of 10 local partner hospitals in 7 regions across Cameroon. Dr Bouba further called on the population of the North West Region to refer or take their children born with cleft lip or palate to their partner hospital here in the Region - Mbingo Baptist hospital where the patients are treated cost free.

 First Cleft case treated at the Mbingo Baptist Hospital 

“Cleft is a birth defect  in which a child experiences difficulty in breathing, eating and speaking. And children who grow up with untreated clefts are often isolated and bullied, unable to socialize and make friends. Statistics hold that in Cameroon, 700 children are born each year with clefts. Therefore, a new Partnership between Smile Train and the North West Regional Assembly will contribute to providing the necessary support to families who are most in need of cleftcare". Dr. Bouba added.

It should be noted that Smile Train is the largest cleft-focused Organization with active cleft care programs in over 70  countries across the world and more than 245 partners and over 255 partner hospitals across Africa. Through strategic partnerships at the local and international levels, Smile Train dedicates itself towards providing funding towards quality healthcare capacity building and advocacy to increase access to safer surgeries and cleft care in low- and middle-income countries. The organization empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. 

Cleft lip and cleft palate are thought to be caused by a combination of genes and epi-genetic factors, such a substances (foods, drinks, drugs, medications) the mother comes in contact with during pregnancy. They most commonly occur as isolated birth defects but can also be associated with inherited genetic conditions
or syndromes. In the region there are many cases of cleft defects, and considering the spectrum of deficiencies secondary to cleft malformations. Smile Train will through the strategic cooperation partnership signed with the North West Regional Assembly, also train multidisciplinary teams of oral, dental, pediatric surgeons, anesthetists, or  technicians, orthodontists, nutritionists, community health practitioners, and educationists to care for cleft disease.

By VictoryMarshal Ayafor Basang