Mangroves play an important role in maintaining Africa’s coastlines and human livelihoods. With their abundant roots which grow naturally around coastlines, they have become a very suitable environment where fish lay eggs and reproduce. These plants also minimize coastal erosion by reducing the power of tidal waves, while their intertwining meshed roots as well as their branches block pollutants like plastic waste that can choke fish.
With the increase in the usage of these plants as a source of wood for kitchen fuel and for smoking of fish, timber for construction of houses and canoes is posing a threat to the survival of these trees. In Cameroon as well as in many other countries, a major contribution to the depletion of Mangroves is development.
The Resource Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (RCESD), recently, is working on to the survival of mangroves in Rio del Rey landscape. RCESD have been working across three mangrove areas in this landscape namely Tiko, Mabeta and Bonendala. The observations made by the field staff during field visit suggested that if care is not taken to protect the remaining stanch of mangrove in these areas, they might extinct in a few decades. Local people in this landscape are faced with livelihood challenges that sometimes are beyond their control. In an effort to meet with livelihood needs they are forced to engage in activities that threaten the existence of the mangrove. These activities include but not limited to charcoal burning, fuel and construction woods.
Mr. Fung Lionel, a staff at RCESD, who participated in the field survey disclosed on the record that “there is need to carve a protected area for Mangroves in order to sustainably support the diverse contributions of mangroves to the well being of those living around the coastal regions. The conservation of mangroves will go a long way to reduce the effects of climate change and to improve the livelihood of the local people concerned..
By Emmanuel Ebai