Malnutrition is common in children all over the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that malnutrition accounts for 54% of child mortality worldwide. Causes of malnutrition can be inadequate food intake, lack of hygiene and sanitation and social inequality.
Breastfeeding has shown to reduce mortality in infants and young children. There is no doubting the fact that breast milk is important to the baby because it contains vitamins and nutrients a baby needs and is also packed with disease fighting substances that protect the baby from illness. Talking to the care giver of this beautiful but malnourished child, it was gathered that she was not breastfed by her mother who abandoned her while she was barely a few weeks old. This is due to poverty and hardship which is one of the causes of malnutrition. It cannot be denied that majority of the kids who are malnourished are from poor backgrounds. These children, whose parents can barely give them a good life and hardly, have balanced meals or good water to drink, walk the street begging for food.
Together we can fight against malnutrition in children especially those children who lost their mothers at child birth or who were abandoned by their parents. Saving a child is saving the future.
P.S: The picture you see above is a real picture of a baby girl who lives in Limbe. To support her, you can donate at least at least 10 dollars to our Global giving account on the link below
Ndieh Elah– Communication
The phrase “water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” is one which is now ringing in the minds of both the young and the old, and male and female as it is the talk of the world today, with numerous environmental musicians singing about it.
Water crisis is an issue which continues to be suffered by several countries of the world, with Cameroon not being an exception. Long, meandering lines are often seen at public taps with people fighting and even getting hurt just to have a glass of potable water for their household to drink. The irony of the situation is, there are stream courses behind our houses, under bridges on our streets, but getting water which can quench ones thirst remains a daydream to most people, thereby the phrase “water water everywhere but not a drop to drink”.
RCESD joined ICENECDEV on the 30/08/17 in a workshop to commemorate the Stockholm World Water Week, which has been celebrated around the world since 1991. This year, it was celebrated under the theme “Water and Waste- Reduce and Reuse”. Present during the workshop were representatives from the MINEPDED South West Region, representatives from Cam Water, WASH, other Non-profit Organizations in Buea and even individuals striving to ensure water sanitation. Having in mind that access to clean and safe water is not only a vital resource, but a fundamental human right for human health, this workshop brought NGOs in Buea together to enable exchange of information and experiences which would pave a way forward to ensure a better and sustainable water sanitation.
It is no mystery that it would take a collective effort to ensure available and safe drinking water. It all starts at the source; we have to protect and even rejuvenate local water catchments, improve on our water management programs, transform water and waste utilities, optimize industrial operations, develop and promote a sustainable ocean strategy. It is only when each individual strives to reduce the effect of their daily activities on the environment that we can start looking at a sustainable future for clean water.
Over time, there has been a progressive decline in the age at which puberty and menarche (early menstruation) occur in young girls all over the world (Scientific American, 2015). Puberty is a phase during which children reach sexual maturity while according to Merriam Webster dictionary; menarche is beginning of menstrual function, i.e the first menstrual flow of a woman. Usually menarche comes 1-3 years after puberty. In the 18s, girls reached puberty and menarche between 15-20 years. This phenomenon has dropped drastically. Research now shows girls entering puberty and menarche at an earlier age of 9-14 birthdays, (Mayo clinic, 2016).
According to an America scientific research in 2015, some of the reasons associated to our generation experiencing early menarche include obesity which is said to have doubled in children over the past 30 years. Fatter girls have higher levels of the hormone leptin, higher oestrogen levels, higher insulin, which can lead to early puberty, more fat tissue, higher stress and early menarche. Also, family stress and environmental chemicals also play a great role in early menarche. Children who experience parental divorce at an early age are likely to experience early menarche than girls with both parents as a result of stress.
Girls who encounter early menarche face certain challenges which affect their youth. Girls who exhibit obvious signs of physical maturation and have early menarche may find it difficult to maintain friendships with same-sex peers who have not developed at a similar rate ( Jane Mendle, Eric, Robert Emery, 2010) and may have higher levels of depression. Secondly, some studies have found an association between early menarche and behavior problems, particularly in kids with developmental delays (Roy Benaroch, MD 2015). This is so as most parents in Africa do not educate their children before time or within the time. Most at times it leads to early pregnancy with its entire disadvantage (Julie Beck, 2016). It sometimes results to stress as they feel awkward about looking different among their peers. Lastly these young girls face difficulties using and deposing their sanitary tissue.
The women and development department of RCESD, is carrying out research on the causes and effects of early menarche among young girls in the South West region and to see how it can contribute to these girls better managing these changes in their bodies.
Fombu Christel– Women & Development
Cameroon Preuss’s Monkey (CPM) (Allochrocebus preussi preussi), currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and as a Class B taxon on the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, is one of Africa’s most imperiled primates. The range of this subspecies extends from the highland areas along the Nigeria-Cameroon border near the Cross River drainage in the north to the Sanaga River in the south, and west from the Obudu Plateau in Nigeria to the proposed Ebo Forest National Park in Cameroon (Littoral Region). The CPM is primarily threatened, at
this time, by deforestation and by bush-meat hunting. Despite its endangered status, the global population of the CPM has never been censured in the non-protected areas where they mostly occur.
RCESD, in line with its major biodiversity conservation goal carried out a census for the CPM non-protected forest areas in Cameroon where they may occur. The field staff asked 78 hunters in 43 villages where they have seen heard or hunted the CPM. They also raised awareness through conversations with village chiefs and hunters of the concern about the CPM’s future and of the potential for its conservation.
The CPM is prone to hunting in the study area, because of its larger size compared to cercopithecine monkeys and the fact that it frequently uses the forest floor where it is very vulnerable to hunting.
Next steps will involve a systematic field survey for CPM, additional community consultations and engagement, school conservation education, and building community-based support for IUCN conservation action plan for this primate and its habitat.
Ada Acobta– Environmental Education
The massive disposal of plastic waste, especially plastic bottles along the roadsides and quarters is overwhelming and has contributed to clogging our water ways and even damaging our natural environment. RCESD thus started a “one less plastic“ campaign to widen the impact of reducing plastic bottles in the streets of Buea municipality with the intention of transporting the sorted plastic bottle waste to a recycling company.
The RCESD team chose certain days within the week, went out to the streets and picked up littered plastic bottles to that effect. RCESD team carried out the One less plastic clean up campaign along the Ndongo river at check point, inside the Mile 17 motor park and the mile 17 environ. During the clean-up, sensitization was also carried out, raising awareness on the impact of improperly disposed plastics on the environment and human health and the benefits of recycling. It was realized during sensitization that over 70 percent of people were willing to practice sorting of waste and even recycling if the facilities were put in place.These plastic bottles were collected and taken to NAMe recycling to be recycled.
RCESD has just taken one step, there are many more steps to go in ensuring zero plastic litter on our streets. Everyone is encouraged to take that one step in reducing plastic litter on our streets. You can start by sorting, reusing, and donating for recycling.
Emmanuel Ebai- Environmental Education