Thursday, December 10, 2015

[biofuelwatch] COP21: Climate change and conflict meet in Cameroon

KOUSSERI/DOUALA, 9 December 2015 (IRIN) - Nadine Wondje, a native of Manoka, an island off the coast of Cameroon's economic capital, Douala, fears the sea will soon "swallow" her village.

"Those poles and the other stakes you see is what remains of our homes that were once located there," she told IRIN, pointing out to sea. "We have been displaced many times, each time further and further inland."

Wondje doesn't know where her family will go the next time a storm destroys her house, but coastal erosion and regional flooding have forced many away already.

Tens of thousands of people in Cameroon are not only being driven from their homes and communities due to deadly attacks by Boko Haram, but also, increasingly, because of extreme weather events, including drought and monsoon rains.

At least 120 villages have been destroyed since 2012 by flooding, along with thousands of hectares of farmland, according to Cameroon's Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization. 

Hamadou Mainou, a 41-year-old fisherman, lost his home along the Logone River in the Far North Region during a storm earlier this year.

"At least half of the homes in this village [Glaou Bardai] have been taken by the wind during the last six months," he told IRIN. "I was able to rebuild my house once before, further inland, but now the floods destroyed it again. This latest time, my boat and its motor, my nets and my stock of fish, were swept away by water. I have nothing left."

Mainou was forced to leave, along with his two wives and children, to look for work in Kousseri. 

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