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4 May 2015

Member of the Month: May 2015 Bafut Council

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The town of Bafut, which is located in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, and more specifically in the Mezam Department, is run together by its traditional chief (the Fon of Bafut), and its elected local government.

Bafut Council has recently become one of our highly recognized African members, as Honourable Mayor Abel Langsi was elected Chair member of the ICLEI Regional Executive Committee for the years 2015-2018, for the portfolio of Economic Development, Livelihoods and Food Security. The new RexCom was presented at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul, Korea, 8-12 April 2015, as a means to acknowledge Bafut Council hardworking and dedicated governing towards sustainability.

With the support of Better World Cameroon NGO, and its director Mr Joshua Konkankoh, Bafut Council is aiming at achieving its signature programme, the Eco-village vision 2020, through a range of different projects and initiatives, including clean up campaigns every first Thursdays of the Month (starting in March, 2015) to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions in the municipality. Bafut council also chose to place a strong focus on Public Awareness, specifically arguing on the importance of training the youth to understand and cope with environmental matters.

For instance, Better World Cameroon advocates for the implementation of Permaculture the African way in Bafut, and is fully aware that environmental education ought to be one of their overarching priorities. Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage, which has recently been legally registered as a Bafut Community Land Trust, is therefore designed to be a demonstration site for community farmers and the youth, as well as a sustainable food production site. To the same extent, the demonstration centre is home to the Cameroon International Youth camp, taking place every summer in Bafut, and aiming at sensitizing young people from different range of cultures to the environmental challenges Bafut council has to deal with. The summer camp (5-14 August, 2015) includes a number of hands-on activities, such as tree planting, composting and many more, as well as diverse theoretical presentations on specific matters (energizers, the purpose and the basics of Permaculture, etc.).

Thanks to funding from LUSH Charity Pot, Canada, Bafut Council has also been able to start the construction of a fully ecological building in Ndanifor Ecovillage, meant to be a meeting and training hall for the farmers and students. This project was designed as a way to use local craftsmanship, and allowed the youth to learn the use of local building materials (dry-stone technique, clay, bamboo).

We are happy to acknowledge Bafut Council efforts to build a sustainable municipality through wise balancing of modern technologies and traditional good practices, and we are proud to declare it our Member of the Month!

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