Posted on June 13, 2016
To respond to impacts on the livelihoods of indigenous people, Lelewal and its partners has choose to support indigenous communities in their project demonstration areas in creating alternatives to the disappearing traditional livelihoods due to climate change and excessive logging activities in their territories. Some alternatives means of livelihoods were collectively identified by the communities which to them is feasible and less technical.
In this domain Lelewal has created eight community farms in the demonstration areas to introduce farming as an alternative to fight food insecurity. The communities are fast adapting to the new system by growing different types of crops like cassava, groundnuts, maize, cocoyams, plantains and pineapple, thus reducing pressure on the remaining forest and natural resources. The communities have embarked on cocoa planting under their forest making it inaccessible for loggers. In this line Lelewal has created a cocoa nursery in one of the demonstration area to make the plants available.
Another important issue identified within these communities was lack of skills that can generate income especially skills which are not directly linked with the environment. Lelewal and the target communities collectively identified some professions that can improve the income and well being of the communities in the long run, which are tailoring, petty trading, carpentry and driving. In this line some youths and single mothers were given assistance to learn a trade. Lelewal created a tailoring workshop in Djoum to train Baka women and girls in dress making for their effective insertion into the society. Many youths in the target areas are being supported by Lelewal in learning a trade most of them school drop outs due to poverty.
Provision of Water:
The slogan goes "water is life" which means he who brings water brings life. For decades indigenous people usually carry water from rivers, streams and creeks. Presently it is impossible to get water during the dry season as climate change phenomenon has brought seasonal changes with longer dry seasons making rivers and water points to dry or rivers cuts into standing pools sometime inaccessible for the community. Some of these standing water are highly polluted even boiled will not be fit for human intake. The remaining water points become conflict zones between indigenous peoples and the main stream community. This makes it difficult for indigenous people to freely enjoy their right over water. To solve this problem and improve water quality and quantity for the target communities, Lelewal has created bow hole water points in areas of such conflicts. One of such water supply can be found in Ngorin locality and Minkoo Baka settlement in Djoum locality.