IDPs seek refuge in the wild

IDPs seek refuge in the wild

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Since the outbreak of the intransigent Anglophone crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon, many people in rural areas have been displaced, with majority of them finding refuge in the forests. In most areas in Lebialem Division, the aggrieved population is being displaced into the forest where accessibility is difficult. Surveys show the internally displaced people are greatly affecting the natural resources at their localities. This is because they solely depend on these natural resources for their livelihoods, as they fight living space with the wild and compete for food.

The crisis in the region has drastically forced 95% of the population into forest habitats for protection and food security. This crisis had greatly impacted the entire communities in many ways. The transportation of food and health care facilities from urban area into the communities are totally halted. There is gender base violence, increase dependency on natural resources, total close down of educational facilities, loss of homes by some local people, construction of new camps in the forest, inadequate of support from international, local and national bodies.

Most conservation activities in places like the Lebialem Highlands have been totally halted, such that the conservators, their collaborators, eco-guards and others face difficulties in carrying out their activities. Some activities have been completely halted in the area. While this crisis persists many Village Forest Management Committees, local rangers and local peoples have sought refuge into thick forest for self-protection. The influx of people into forest has led to forest being destroyed for the construction of camps. Additionally, the massive populations solely rely on natural resources for livelihood through hunting, agricultural and harvesting of non-timber forest products.

The conservation activities of the protected areas have been affected in the landscape since regular monthly patrols and forest surveillance were stopped. This has led to massive hunting of animals and destruction of the ecosystem for living space.

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