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