Month: February 2020

Poli, Cameroon – Home of beautiful Mount Atlantika

The ancient town of Poli is situated in the North region of Cameroon. It has existed as a town since 1924. It is situated at some 136km from Garoua, capital of the North region. From 1927 – 1957, reports say Poli was named the Namchi-Atlantikas sub-division, probably from where was drawn the name of the Mountain Atlantika.

Mount Atlantika

Mount Atlantika stands tall at the entrance of the town of Poli, perhaps reminiscent of its beautiful past, and of a hopeful future. Mount Atlantika, beautifully green on a bright afternoon, flanks the West side of Poli. The mountain chains which so gracefully wind along the untarmacked road rise above huge deposits of gold and uranium, according to research reports. However, such richness in soil is largely contrasting to the reality of the present-day Poli.

Mount Atlantika has for long been a hub for White tourists in Poli. Besides it, Poli is gifted with other natural attractions like the Faro National Park (one of the main natural wildlife reserves in Central Africa with several species of animals) and the Faro River which snakes alongside the mountain chains that flank almost a third of the 36km road from Carrefour Poli (estimated 100km from Garoua) to Poli town itself.

The riches, the people!

Poli is rich in different minerals like Uranium, as it is in its people. It is home to the Daoyos, also known as the Namchi, the Dopas, Papès and Fulbes amongst others. It has also welcomed a great number of immigrant peoples like the Toupouri, Mafa, Guiziga and Moufou amongst others. Its 45,000-man population mainly practices Christianity and Islam.

Accessing Poli

Though largely enclaved, Poli is quite easily accessible in the dry seasons, and current worst-case scenarios during the rainy season could see a visitor spending up to 2hours on the 36km stretch of road from Carrefour Poli to Poli itself. Vehicles heading to Poli can be boarded in Garoua, capital city of the North region of Cameroon.

 

 

Cameroon: Humanitarian Organisation OCHA provides food and non-food items to over 400,000 persons in NW/SW regions in 2019

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reached a total of 424,091 persons in need in the North West and South West Regions (NW/SW) of Cameroon in 2019, according to a report published on January 21, 2020. Though underfunded at just 31% of US$ 93.5 million requested, UN OCHA in partnership with at least 27 partners in the NWSW regions implemented the humanitarian response plan (HRP) in 8 sectors, viz: Food security, Protection, Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Education, Early Recovery and Nutrition.

2019 Humanitarian situation and response overview

The implementation of the international HRP in the NW/SW regions was carried out within the framework of periodic consultations and regular coordination meetings between representatives of authorities and national/international humanitarian organisations.

Food security:

Local NGO CHRDA donates foodstuffs to IDPs

27 partners collectively assisted 250,274 people (88% of the target) in 2019. 8% of the 2019 beneficiaries (20,589 people) received agriculture and livelihood support and 92% (229,685 beneficiaries) received food assistance through in-kind, cash and voucher modalities.

 

 

 

 

Protection:

UNHCR and INTERSOS recorded 8,967 protection incidents. However, protection monitoring only covered 07 out of 13 administrative divisions of the NW/SW due to lack of funding. Incidents registered showed women were more affected than men.

Shelter and NFI:

Shelter Cluster members agreed on the need to implement cash-based interventions (CBI) in the NWSW. However, in 2019, partners distributed in kind, providing shelter to 81,546 people and NFIs to 92,271.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH):

The cholera outbreak, open defecation and lack of potable water were some main WASH challenges. In November and December 2019, some 161,000 people were reached. These challenges were part of UNICEF’s main 2016 – 2030 response strategy to WASH .

Health:

As of 30 December, 380 cholera cases and 16 deaths were reported. 35,502 persons were vaccinated against cholera with support from partners like World Health Organisation (WHO), Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF). The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also provided clean delivery kits to pregnant women and supported rape survivors.

Education:

OCHA Education Cluster partners distributed teaching and learning materials; and gave tests through radio programmes and trained teachers.

Nutrition:

With limited comprehensive data, cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) were recorded. Approximately 17% (415) out of the 2,500 estimated SAM caseloads for 2019 accessed treatment.

2020 outlook

As violence continued until late 2019 and even into 2020, the humanitarian situation remains uncertain, and is expected to worsen in 2020. The number of people affected and targeted will be adjusted in the 2020 HRP.

The Gambia Six-logy 1 – The Crocos which don’t bite!

So, on this Sunday afternoon, we move to the Katchikally museum. I’ll tell you more about that later in part 3. Behind the museum is the crocodile village. Scary right!!!

They’re everywhere, not caged! There are almost 100 or more crocodiles in the pool and around the park.

Origin – The crocos are full of mysteries!

It is believed the croco pool was founded in the 1600s. The place was a farm used by the Bonja Nkunda people who were amongst the first settlers of Bakau, The Gambia, where the croco pool is located. History has it that on the farm, then, a jungle, lived a woman who was said to be more than just a human being. She had the crocos – just two, by then. She kept them as pets. Then there was a man close to a big tree at the entrance of the pool (this is before the pool was fenced). This mysterious woman asked the man for help, claiming her daughter had fallen into a well (the pool). Though a stranger, the man accepted to help her. When they arrived the pool, she revealed she had simply wanted to test the man’s kindness. As a reward, she offered him her two pets – Crocodiles! She advised him to keep them well, and also use the pool to help women with fertility issues (watch out for part 2)…… the crocos mated, and today, are close to 100 or more. Generosity pays huh! 😊

The big white croco that smells luck!

The Mandinka have the belief that when the white crocodile comes out every Friday or else, then whoever sees it could make a wish and it’ll come to pass. Well, that’s legend, no doubt. That big white croco could just be an albino crocodile. Our guide tells me there exists one still. Well, whether it be true or not, make sure to say a wish when you visit Katchikally and if you see the white croco. 😊

The woman, and man, and water?

My historian doesn’t tell me more about the woman and the man. But, for the water…. the people here believe it has spiritual powers. The crocos live in it, but also around the gutters in the park. The Bakau people are Mandinka and they believe the pool has a connection with the one in Katon and with the Brikama people also. It is the water in the pool which is used by women in bathing – so they can have children. Believable?

“Thesito” – Your Problem is my problem!

A helping hand always. “In The Gambia we have “Thesito” – your problem is my problem. So, we join hands to solve the problem. When we realised the water was becoming small for the crocos, the community joined hands to dig and extends the size of the pool to contain more water and more crocodiles”, our guide tells me.

The crocos feed on fish, so our guide says they can’t harm humans because they’re not used to meat. A dog once fell into the pool and swam from side to side, unharmed. A man once fell into the pool and was removed unharmed.

Almost human huh!

It is believed the pool here has a link with another one in Katon – “more of a spiritual link because we also believe these animals are spiritually associated. That is why we don’t use their skin for leather; we don’t sell them. Sometimes they die out of sickness, or injury because they do fight. We don’t also accept outside crocos to breed with them”.

And when the crocos die, they are buried!

 

 

MY ‘SIX-LOGY’ ON THE GAMBIA

So….

I’ll begin my six-logy on The Gambia. 😊 Lol

Land of the Smiling Coast (c) OW

Named the Land of the Smiling Coast, The Gambia, this west African country, sits cheerily on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It has a very refreshing coastline; believe you me!

But…. I wouldn’t want to savour that all alone.


  1. What do you think about visiting “spiritual” crocos? They don’t bite! Youpiiiiii
  2. Or you may like the ancient bathroom which triggers fertility! That’s if you believe and want a child so badly! I wouldn’t…..
  3. Or the museum which houses clippings about The Gambia and how WWII was lived by this coastal country’s ancestors? You never know, your great grandfather may have been a world war hero. Who knows! 😊
  4. Or maybe you intend to return home with a basin-full of fish? It’s so much the locals actually don’t pick most if they fall. And you can see an Octopus, out of Nat Geo wild! lol
  5. Or go to the Eden-like beach and pick some shells – you could get some good relics huh! And surf. But if like me you can’t, I’d suggest you take classic pics standing on the beautiful beach. 😊
  6. Maybe you hesitate because you hear it’s an Islamic State? I’d admit the Adamawa region of Cameroon looks more “Islamic” than this Islamic country. Is it one even? Well, the president said it is but… you definitely should visit The Gambia!

Well, hang on for my ‘six-logy’ on The Gambia … as the first drops 5p.m. (GM+1) today!