This is part 2 of an earlier aricle. You can click here to read the 1st part of the article
In the Melong community the snails’ project is providing a steady supply of meat and income for the 14 members of Groupe d’Initiative Commune Promotrice
“I sold over 4 buckets of snails at 35$ and used the income to secure better treatment for my ill health” one of group members Meshinjou Lucia said.
The project is also helping the group to recreate their environment.
“We are planting trees on our farms to attract the animal” Pauline Boni said.
More importantly the trees not only protect their environment but are fertilizing their farms for good food crop production. Joseph Wamba member of the same group thinks.
Today influential in all areas of development the common initiative group has set some priorities for their community
“we are also involve in educating our community on the effects of HIV and AIDS and the farming of plantain and cocoyam feed for snails ” Sydony Njuemtsop of the group said.
These members have undergone HIV and AIDS voluntary counseling and testing and are proud to be all healthy.
Their healthy status has rekindled their desire not only to campaign for an HIV and AIDS free Melong but to abstain from sexual immorality.
Nchemty palm farmers group in Ekona around the coast of Cameroon farms snails in a unique free range garden system.
His method permit’s the animals to move from one place to the next in the garden in which food crops are grown and plants propagated unlike with other farmer organizations
“With much concentration in our garden we constructed a snail village” Robert the president said.
Tourist came from far and near, paying money to see the experiences of the group.
The group has sold over 20,000 snails at 1000$ in the last four years. “This income has helped us to do a lot for our group families”.
While Wamba Joseph alias Massa Yo feels that income from the sale of snails has boasted the self esteem of many farmers across Cameroon in West Africa who are delighted to tell their story of self reliant,
expectations are high for the members of Rural Agro Friends in Bachuo Akagbe in the south west region of cameroon awaiting support from Heifer Cameroon.
The group hopes that the snail farming development project will enable them keep their children in school and afford their basic needs.
Their daring desire is to re-enrol 28 children, belonging to group members who had withdrawn from school due to limited resources and to construct new houses for themselves.
Ako Eyong Dianna, 16 and Ako Laurantine, 11 are orphans only dreaming of education in the remote village of Bachou.
“I had an accident in my leg that left me hospitalized for two months; all the money for my education was used on medical bills, since then, I have not been able to go to school because we have not recovered from the financial shock, each day I see children go to school I cannot help but cry”. Diana lamented.
The children have faced endless challenges but their hopes are clued to the snail project as they await help from the development organization.
Etta Sophie Ebob 53, a single mother with nine has faced agonizing and painful moments trying to make ends meet in the mfuni countryside some 38KM from Mamfe town in the coast of Cameroon.
Sophie has gone in to the collection of snails as a self help initiative before her group is offered training and food aid.
She is already dreaming of the day when her group will enjoy the benefits of the project.”In July 2010, I was sick of typhoid; had no money to go to hospital.
I gathered some herbs, made a concoction, drank and felt much better.
I yearn for when Heifer Cameroon will aid our project, this will enable me source enough cash to take proper care my health and that of my children and grand children”. Sophie wished.
The lady has also endured it all living a large family in a grass roof thatch hut.
Longing to expand and refurbish her “house” Sophie believes that the assistance will be the very essence for their survival, either in providing income for school bills or three meals for their table.
In the Littoral Region of Cameroon members of Groupe d’Initiative Commune Paysans Halieuk have prepared themselves in readiness for their snail project to be supported,
“Due to the high demand for snail meat and its scarcity we hope to rear it to ameliorate our income levels”Nkanche Daniel president of the group said.
After Heifer Cameroon’s introductory phase to the group, project members have collected 50 snails each as part of their contributions to the success of the project.
“If we have good material to build good houses for the snails, the expansion will be rapid” one member prayed.
According Teckwango Jean Paul, rearing snails will reduce the risk their children face when poaching the animal at night in the near by bushes and forest.
“Our children use to go out in the nights in search of snails; if we are assisted to keep them at home that will be good for us”.
Jean Paul hopes that their children will save time reading their books and concentrating on their studies and that will improve on their performance in school.
In the farmers groups awaiting the Heifer Cameroon largess they is a common appealed
“All of us in this group are asking for the trust and confidence of Heifer International Cameroon and her partners to help us, because with our full commitment and determination we can succeed in the snail farming project”.
Heifer’s Country Director in Cameroon, Dr Njakoi is encouraging farmers to contact Heifer International Cameroon, which also supports the development of animals in the local farming system, like pigs, goats and sheep for assistance.
According to Dr, Njakoi all that is required to benefit from Heifer’s support is a strong demonstration of interest.
He says individuals are welcome, but groups work better.
SOURCE: Aaron Kaah