“If you want to compare the amount of land that the graziers occupy with that of the natives, you will see that we are instead begging land from the graziers” the Mayor of Fonfuka, Mr. Philip Gwe disclosed in an interview recently.
Drawing inspiration from the land law, mayor Gwe stated that any land that is not demarcated is a state land and belongs to nobody but graziers are proving to have more rights over the land than the inhabitants.
“It is rather unfortunate that we make laws in this country but fail to implement them. Most of the time, when you want to open up a farm in this area, you face confrontations with graziers. When you run to the administration for protection, they tell you it is grazing land. When did grassier start owning lands, how does it become personal land to be termed grazing land?” the mayor questioned.
Mr. Gwe recounted how his council battled with graziers over a piece of land dedicated for reforestation: “ Last year, we had funds from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and planted some trees but up to now we are still battling, not with the fons of the areas were the trees were planted but with the graziers areas. They intentionally burn these trees because they don’t want them (the planted trees) to reduce their grazing space. How do you handle this kind of a situation? Do you need to employ people to be guarding the trees day and night so that they can track them down each time they burn? In other countries, graziers keep a good number of cattle in a small piece of land but here our own graziers want to occupy the whole area”.
He therefore called on the “administration” to step in and help remind the graziers that the land does not belong to them.
Fonfuka is the Head Quarter of the Bum Subdivision-Boyo Division, North West Cameroon. It is made up of 16 villages with a population of over 27750 persons 95% of whom depend of farming for their livelihoods.
By B. Shancho Ndimuh