A few months ago we reported on the conflict that is going on in Cameroon. Because we’re not going to stand on the sideline, we switched to emergency aid. We will explain our choice in this blog.
What’s going on in Cameroon?
A group of people in Cameroon want to become independent from the Cameroon Republic. They are fed up with years of corruption and discrimination. This has been going on since the sixties, but since three years there has been protest and the conflict is escalating. The crisis in the country is getting worse every day, resulting in many acts of violence, deaths and injuries.
What are the consequences of the conflict in Cameroon?
Villages have been burned down and many villagers – including those of the LiveBuild cooperating – are on the run and are currently living in communities in the “bush”. These “Internally Displaces Persons” (IDPs) are therefore refugees in their own country. Among them are children, elderly people, pregnant women and sick people. There is no access to medicines or clean (drinking) water in the bush.
In consultation with our local partners, it has been decided that we will stop working on all our projects. This is to guarantee the safety of our partners, the employees of the water company and the inhabitants of the villages. Our project partners and project coordinator stay in close contact over the telephone with the people involved in the projects. In this way, we stay informed of developments in their villages. We hope to be able to start our projects again as soon as the situation is stable.
What does LiveBuild do?
normally we support structural projects that have an effect on the longer term. This way, we ensure that the projects are adopted by the villagers, and that the actions we undertake are sustainable. However, after long consultation, we have decided that it is not an option to do nothing. We want to do something for “our” villages at this moment.
That is why we are currently providing emergency assistance to these IDP’s in the South West of Cameroon. We do this in the form of non-food items such as medicines for malaria and flu, painkillers, bandages and hydration salt. A first charge of €5000 has now been successfully delivered to a few camps. Quite a task, given the road blocks, “Ghost town Mondays” (days when everything must be closed) and other travel restrictions.
Fortunately for this project we can also count on our regular partners and our project coordinator. They have ensured that our contribution, together with that of local NGO’s such as the Center for Economic Development (CED), Farming and Animal Husbandry Project Cameroon (FAHP CAM) and Investing in People Worldwide (IPW) has made an impact.
And now what?
We are not only struggling with our role as LiveBuild, but also with how we communicate about this in the Netherlands. We have always tried to create a positive image of Cameroon, where the self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship of the local communities can be seen. We find it difficult to show the dependency and reliance on help caused by this conflict.
However, this is also part of open and honest communication, so we will do our best to keep you informed in the coming period.