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Participatory Rural Development Planning

Practice and Lessons from Ediki Bekoli Village in Cameroon

Wissenschaftliche Studie 2018 74 Seiten

Landschaftsnutzung und Naturschutz

Leseprobe

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
1.1 Location and accessibility
1.2. Climate and Vegetation

CHAPTER TWO VILLAGE ORGANIZTION AND POPULATION STRUCTURE
2. Organizational Structure
2.1. Village Institutions
2.2. Population
2.3. Ethnic groups

CHAPTER 3 PARTICIPATORY LAND USE AND COMMUNITY LIVELIHOOD ANALYSIS
3. LIVELIHOOD ACTIVITIES
3.1. Farming
3.2. Non-timber forest products (NTFPs)
3.3. Palm wine Tapping
3.4. Hunting
3.5. Trading
3.6. Sources of income
3.7. Land use systems
3.8. Land Tenure

CHAPTER 4 SOCIO-DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES IN EDIKI BEKOLI VILLAGE
4. Socio-developmental concerns of the community
4.1. Soil quality concerns and land-use planning:
4.2. Local Market concerns:
4.3. Potable water concerns:
4.4. Power supply:
4.5. Poor road network
4.6. Social concerns
4.7. Limited Social Amenities
4.8. Diseases and health care
4.9. Education
4.10. Limited retail outlets
4.11. Limited agricultural productivity
4.12. Limited employment opportunities
4.13. Problem tree analysis

CHAPTER 5 PARTICIPATORY NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND COMMUNITY VISION
5. Participatory problem identification by Gender and Age groups
5.1. Issues identification within socio-professional groups
5.2.Prioritized problems and proposed solutions
5.3. Participatory Strategic Action needs and project development
5.4. Community Vision

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Acknowledgement

References

ANNEXES

LIST OF ACRONYMS

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents the outcome of a ten day mission carried out in 2009 with goal to prepare a development plan for Ediki-Bekoli Village. The researchers conducted an ethnographic-type research with the aim being to guide and facilitate a community-led development planning process for the village from which this Village Development Plan (VDP) was born. Upon arrival in the village, the researchers were hosted by the village chief who convened a meeting with his councilors to discuss the purpose of the the expedition, and from there, work kicked off. This VDP document was therefore prepared based on the approach to development planning which focuses on the principles of promoting sustainable livelihoods and self-reliant bottom-up development. The characteristics of this approach include:

- People centered
- Participatory and responsive
- Need based
- Strength based
- Holistic
- Partnership building,
- Flexible and dynamic.

A manual including different participatory learning tools and methods prepared by the capacity building component of Rumpi Project was used through-out the step by step planning process as well as improvisations adapted from other community development experiences around the world. The specific objective is to assist the community better their livelihoods and find solutions that will increase the income of the small holders within the village thereby contributing to poverty alleviation. Following the the initial participatory village assessment (PRA) stage, conducted with the entire community, the following problems were uncovered and prioritized. These problems include: low agricultural productivity, lack of formal/informal technical training, poor road infrastructure, exposed water sources/ lack of potable water which engenders all kinds of health issues, and youth unemployment. Based on the above problems the following goals were formulated, followed by the elaboration of micro-projects based on these goal: to improve agricultural productivity; improve community health and well-being; to improve communication and rural infrastructure; to enhance rural capacity through the development of technical skills; institute community financing mechanisms etc. The micro projects by the above objectives were to be met included: the establishment of a cassava / piggery demonstration farm; establishment of a credit union; rehabilitation of the Diongo-Ediki road; establishment of a health post with LACC; Pipe borne water development; establishment of a vocational training centre. These micro-projects, if implemented, will meet some of the developmental needs and aspirations of Ediki-Bekoli as perceived by the community itself, leading to the alleviation of poverty.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

A large chunk of Cameroon’s population lives in rural areas. There is a stark distinction between rural areas and urban areas, in social structure and lifestyle, political/institutional characteristics, infrastructural development, economic and land-use systems, energy use, population dynamics. Given these differences, it is obvious that the process of rural development must be distinct from urban development (Ndah 2006). The field of rural development generally encompass issues of rural poverty; community development planning; agricultural development and planning; planning and management of rural development programs and projects; rural-urban relations; conflict resolution; and local development projects to strengthen rural communities for sustainable development. Given the diversity and complexity of the concept and practice of R.D, it is imperative that all systematic approaches to rural development be based on a plan.Practice oriented rural-regional planning is normally carried out regularly following a participatory and integrated approach. Thus, a village development plan is a document that outlines development procedures prepared by a village that can be used to mobilize potentials, capacities and allocation of resources (Ngoran & Ndah 2014). The goal is to move a village from their present situation to a desired one in an orderly and acceptable manner within a given time frame.Development approaches are therefore concerned with the improvement of the quality of life and social and economic development of rural areas.The potential value of rural development planning therefore lies primarily in improving the problem‐solving capacity of current regional and national planning procedures (Belshaw 1977). Unfortunately, in Cameroon, rural development has been completely ignored by the central government, which largely embarks on an urban-centric development model. This is in-spite of the fact that the rural areas are the bread-baskets of the entire nation. Thus, rural areas have been left to fend for themselves and to languish in acute neglect and extreme poverty. As a result of this void left by the government, both national and international NGOs have stepped in to provide the necessary expertise and support to rural areas in order to reduce the current state of underdevelopment. In practice, the concept of Village or Micro Development Planning (VDP or MDP) in Cameroon through Participatory Rural Appraisal, largely driven by international NGOs such as German Development Corporation (GED), is a central component of rural development. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is an approach in which the entire population of a village or rural unit participate actively and are fully involved in all aspects of program from its inception to the design of projects, and finally to implementation. PRA is therefore a road map for the development of the rural area by effectively and efficiently utilizing the natural, human and other resources in the area. This (bottom-up approach) is highly beneficial because it prioritizes perceptions, needs and visions of communities’ rather than ideas externally imposed by intellectuals or groups (top-down approach) that have little or no experience of the realities on the ground. thinks should be done. Central to the PRA is the formulation of Village or Micro Development Plans (MDP or VDP). Here, the smallest rural unit, which in Cameroon is a village is the target. In the process of formulating the VDP, the first step is to make an appraisal of the basic understanding of the present situation of the village. This includes: the physical environment, social and institutional setup, population dynamics, economic systems, and the available resources, incomes and expenditures, and existing projects in the village. This is a very significant part of the process because there it is important to fully utilize the existing resources in an area before seeking new ones. This is followed by an elaborate assessment of the present situation of the existing resources in the area and their distribution. The VDP through the participatory approach identifies the gaps in resources use and development, social and economic challenges, and elaborates on how these gaps can be bridged through micro-projects; where will the resources for these projects come from and most importantly what is the priority of the village with regards to the chronological order in which the identified problems are to be targeted. This conceptualization of rural development planning as applied to Ediki Bekoli Village is described in this work. Emphasis is placed on the planning technique - the participatory approach in which the community members themselves have a greater involvement in the entire process, from problem identification, issue prioritization to the formulation of micro-projects and a community vision.

1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

1.1 Location and accessibility

Ediki Bekoli is a small village found in Meme Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. It is located within the Konye Rural Council Area and forms part of Konye Sub-division. Ediki Bekoli is located on a plateau found on the western side of the road from Kumba to Mamfe. The approximate distance from Ediki to Kumba, the closest town, is about 20.5 miles using the Mile 19 (Matondo II) road.

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Figure 1.1. Map of the Study Area: Konye Subdivision in the Southwest Region of Cameroon (Produced with METEOINFO 1.4.8; shapefiles were obtained from Statsilk)

The village shares common boundaries with Matondo II in the east, Mbonge Meteke in the west, Matoh Butuh in the southwest and Ikiliwindi in the Southeast. The boundaries between these villages are identified by symbolic natural landmarks such as special trees and rivers.

1.2. Climate and Vegetation

Ediki Bekoli has a humid climate characterized by two seasons. The long rainy season starts in March and last till early November and the dry season starts around early November to February. However there are torrents of rain during the dry season. Day temperatures usually reach 30oC during the dry season whereas average temperatures of approximately 26oC generally characterize the rainy season.

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Figure 1.2. Seasonal patterns of rainfall variability

The humid equatorial climate of the village is responsible for the evergreen vegetation with rich biodiversity. Some species of trees found in the village is include, Iroko, Abeche, Sapelle, Small leaf, White Tafara, Arobe, Paduk and Tukufuku. The village is surrounded by what used to be humid equatorial forest that has now been converted into secondary forests as a result of agriculture and timber harvesting.

The figures had to be removed due to copyright reasons.

Figure 1.3. Tree species in Ediki Bekoli Village. The rainfall pattern also favours the main livelihood activity of Ediki Bekoli people which is farming despite the lateritic nature of the soil.

CHAPTER TWO VILLAGE ORGANIZTION AND POPULATION STRUCTURE

2. Organizational Structure

Ediki-Bekoli village is made up of 4 quarters, namely; Kerosene quarter, Main Street, Konga Quarter and Elanga Street. Each of these quarters is headed by a quarter head and they are all answerable to the chief who is the over all ruler of the village. Three chiefs ruled Ediki from 1937 to 1955 in the following order, Bue Ikoi, Etongwe Lobe and Edward Sakwe Metta. Chief Emmanuel Nanje Mokwe ruled the village from 1955 and handed over to Chief Etongwe Samuel Itoe in 1988 who was the chief at the time this study was conducted in 2008. Moreover, the village chief is elected by the villagers and he must be indigenous to the land, literate, and of good moral standing.

2.1. Village Institutions

There are several village institutions, registered groups and unregistered groups found in Ediki village. The activities of these institutions and groups are coordinated by the various group heads and they are answerable to the chief who is the general overseer of the village affairs. There are also some secret societies in the village. They include Nganya, Maley, Bali and Dioh. The traditional council (Mukenge) works in close collaboration with the chief and is in charge of local issues such as setting of disputes and making laws of the village. This council is headed by a traditional council chairman who has an assistant. Moreover, the traditional council is made up mainly of indigenes and notables of the village. The village chief and his council members settle disputes in a local court (Etana) located in the main street. The functions of the chief are complemented by the traditional council which is headed by a traditional council head. Other groups such as registered common initiative groups (CIGs) and other unregistered groups also exist in this village. The women and the youth groups are headed by the women president and youth president respectively.

2.2. Population

Ediki Bekoli village has a population of about 1068 inhabitants all resident in the village. The dependent age and active age groups (0-15, 16-45 years) form the bulk of the population (93.6%). Hence the population of Ediki is a growing, youthful population. Only approximately 2% of the population is above 60yrs old.

Table 2.1 . Population structure of Ediki-Bekoli

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Figure 2.1. Age and Gender distribution in Ediki Bekoli Gender-wise, females constitute the bulk of the population in all the age categories. Overall, females makeup 58.8% of the population while males constitute 41.4%.

2.3. Ethnic groups

Ediki Bekoli is an ethnically diverse community. There are three main ethnic groups cohabiting the village. These include: the Mbonge, Balue, Batanga, Ngolo, Ibos and Bikoms. The Mbonge are indigenous to the village and the numerically dominant group (75%). The Ibos and Bikoms originate from neighbouring Nigeria and constitute 20% of the population.

Table 2.2 . Ethnic groups

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Figure 2.2. Partition of Ethnic groups co-habiting Ediki Bekoli

The rest of the population (about 5%) is made up of a diversity of ethnicities. According to historical accounts gathered in the village, the Ediki people who form part of the Mbonge tribe and speak the Mbonge language migrated from Bekoli, their mother village, to their present location in 1937.

CHAPTER 3 PARTICIPATORY LAND USE AND COMMUNITY LIVELIHOOD ANALYSIS

3. LIVELIHOOD ACTIVITIES

Farming is the main livelihood activity of the people of Ediki-Bekoli village. Agricultural activities are coordinated by registered common initiative groups (CIGs) as well as unregistered mutual assistance groups. Some of the groups include Lembene farmers CIG, Ngenoa CIG, Lovely Sisters Group, Bekongele Age Group and other smaller groups. The groups bring together villagers engaged in growing different food and cash crops such as cocoa (the main cash crop), plantains, palms, cocoyams, cassava; other members within the groups are involved in petty trading. The overall objective of these groups is to increase income and thus alleviate poverty.

3.1. Farming

The major crops grown here is cocoa which is the main income generating crop. Cocoa farming is done both on a large scale and small scale and involves men, women and youths alike. Men own the biggest farms which may range between 2-5 hectares of land followed by youths and lastly by women. The villagers practice ‘mixed cropping’ system. All cocoa farms are interspersed with plantains, coco yams, and yams. These food crops among others are cultivated on a smaller scale since they do not fetch as much money as cocoa. Other crops cultivated include cassava, banana, palms and pepper. There are also sugar canes, pineapples and coconut trees spotted around houses in the village. Most of these crops are cultivated mainly for local consumption and only excesses are sold in the local Ediki market.

Furthermore, animal rearing is done on a very small scale. Animals kept include goats, pigs and fowls. These are local breed species that are not confined hence they stray and destroy food crops around homes. There are only 2 pig rearers in the village with not more than 3 pigs each.. These livestock are kept mainly for household consumption, entertainment and are offered as gifts.

3.2. Non-timber forest products (NTFPs)

NTFPs are another important income-generating activity in Ediki village. Defined as all biological materials, other than timber, which are extracted from forest for human use, NTFPs include Njansa (Ricinodendron heudelotii ), bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis), monkey kola (Cola pachycarpa), kola nuts ( Cola acuminata and Cola nitida) and Bush or ‘country’ onions (Cyperus bulbosus). The collection of these products is mainly done by the women. These products are collected in what is now called secondary forest found in and around the village.

The figure had to be removed due to copyright reasons.

Figure 3.1. Various NFTPs collected and sold in Ediki Bekoli, including Njangsa (A), Kola nuts (B), Monkey Kola (C), Bitter Kola (D), Bush Mango (Ogbono) (E), Bush Onions (F)

These products when collected are sold to middlemen who visit the Ediki market. They generate a substantial amount of income to the villagers. However, these trees fail to bear fruits during some periods leading to fluctuations in the quantities collected from year to year.

3.3. Palm wine Tapping

Palm wine tapping is a very popular activity carried out in the village and is mainly done by men. The wine is tapped from palms planted by villagers in their farms or palms growing in the forests. The palm wine is stored in jugs and sold in the local market or to neighbouring villages. Some of the palm wine is consumed locally or used for entertainment.

3.4. Hunting

Hunting is done throughout the year. Animals hunted include, antelope, porcupine, cane rats, and moles. Hunting is done throughout the year mainly for local consumption

3.5. Trading

Trading is carried out in Ediki on a very small scale. These include petty traders of dry fish, patched groundnuts etc. These activities are carried out by men, women and youths. The lone provision store is located in kerosene quarter. Several roads side vendors are dotted all over the village. Furthermore, there are several beer parlours located along the main street. The basic commodities in this village are sold at very high prices due to the high cost of transportation from Kumba to Ediki. The table that follows show the different periods during which these activities are carried out.

Table 3.1. Seasonal calendar

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3.6. Sources of income

Farming is the main income-generating activity of the people of Ediki Bekoli. They rely on this activity both for income generation and local consumption. The main cash crop cultivated is cocoa, and food crops include, plantains, banana and coco yams. Table 3.2 shows the the yearly quantity sold and the levels of income generated from the sale of each farm produce and NTFPs.

Table 3 .2. Sources and levels of income

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Figure 3.2. Annual volume of agricultural produce and incomes

It is thus observed that cocoa stands out in terms of income generation for the villagers. The 900 tonnes of Cocoa sold yearly to cocoa traders mainly from the city of Kumba generates about 630million FCFA to the villagers, being 99% of the income derived from the sale of all farming produce in the village. The rest of the income (approx. 3,700,000FCFA, 1%) is from the sale of other food crops and NTFPs listed in Table 3.2. With regards to annual expenses, the bulk of the villagers’ income (35%) is spent on transportation. This is followed by feeding which takes up about 22% of household incomes per year. Education, health, clothing and other miscellaneous needs such as festivals constitute the rest of the annual expenditure, amounting to about 43% of household incomes. This implies a total annual expenditure of approximately 3,475,000 per household.

Table 3. 3. Annual expenses incurred by villagers

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Figure 3.3. Annual expenditure per household in Ediki-Bekoli

The large proportion of income spent on food is however a curious issue especially in an agrarian community which ought to be producing enough food to feed its population without resorting to buying extra food from elsewhere. A plausible reason to this dilemma is the observation that of over reliance on cash crops (cocoa) by both men and women, at the expense of the production of food crops. Table 3.4 shows that most of the income generating activities and expenditures occurred at specific times of the year. The income is generally accumulated between Jan-Dec. This is probably the period when crops (especially cocoa) are harvested or gathered and sold.

Table 3.4. Income and Expenditure Matrix

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Villagers’ income is generally spent between Sep. and Feb. This period coincides with major festive periods (Christmas & New Year - Dec - Jan) during which expenditure on feeding and clothing increase dramatically. Expenditure on education also accrues after the annual festivities (Sep & Oct, Feb). In net terms, it appears that on average, the villagers make a surplus of about 628,325,000FCFA annually. It must be however noted that individual household incomes are not evenly distributed; some households are bigger than others. In addition, the farm (especially cocoa) sizes and investments made in the farms are also not uniform. Therefore annual yields and incomes are bound to be different on a case-by-case and year-by-year basis. From the foregone, the question that comes to mind is this: is the surplus income generated in the village reinvested in other sectors for the development and well-being of the community or it is concentrated in the hands of a few elite farmers who prefer to store their wealth away in banks far away in the cities?

3.7. Land use systems

There are several land uses in Ediki Bekoli including: settlement, farming, forestry, and fishing.

The settlement pattern in Ediki-Bekoli is nucleated. This is because houses are concentrated around the same place. That is, along the roads found in the village. The settlement area occupies the centre of the village. This area is divided into four quarters. The main street is the commercial center of the village since it has several petty traders and at the end of the street, there is the village market. Furthermore, there are small farmlands found around homes where there are predominantly food crops cultivated in a mixed cropping system. Further away from the settlement area, there are larger farmlands where cocoa and food crops are cultivated still in a mixed cropping system. There are patches of secondary forests around these farmland and progresses outwards to a dense forest. Meanwhile the only palm plantation is found behind the Chiefs house though there are several palm trees dotted in the village. Finally there are a total of four springs in the village, each quarter having a spring.

3.8. Land Tenure

Ediki-Bekoli village has a very liberal land tenure that is not bound by strict traditional laws. Here both men women and strangers can acquire land through different means for construction or farming. The various ways through which land can be acquired include; purchase, inheritance, lease, pledge and share cropping (‘two party’)

- By Purchase: This is the case where a person acquires land which is for sale. After paying the full amount requested by the owner, the new owner may go ahead and put the land to what ever use he desires.

- By Inheritance: Land is inherited in Ediki-Bekoli village by a person who has a direct relationship with the original owner of the land. This can happen after the person’s death or the children can inherit land when they have attained adulthood. The land is fragmented into plots and shared among the children.

- By Lease: This method gives temporal inheritance of land to another person who is not the original owner. Here the owner agrees to give out his/her piece of land for a defined period of time at a certain price. At the end this period of time the owner takes his land. This practice is restricted to farmlands.

- By Pledge: This is a system whereby a creditor obtains the land of his debtor as a collateral security and only returns the piece of land when the debt has been settled.

- By Share cropping: This is a situation where a person agrees with a land owner to cultivate a piece of land for a specified period of time and the produce from the cultivated land is shared equally among them.

CHAPTER 4 SOCIO-DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES IN EDIKI BEKOLI VILLAGE

In every effective rural development planning system, the issues affecting the socio-economic development of the community must be well identified and spelt out, followed by a participatory needs assessment (PNA) facilitated by an expert. In the end, the community members themselves will unanimously outline the community vision (CV) following intense discussions and brainstorming undertaken during the PNA session. In Ediki Bekoli Village, issues identification, PNA and CV were undertaken in the course of a single day, in the Village Hall. Present were all the socio-professional groups and traditional authorities.

4. Socio-developmental concerns of the community

The history of the village reveals that human population has been on a steady increase while forest cover, water bodies, soil fertility, rainfall, crop and animal have been reducing.

4.1. Soil quality concerns and land-use planning:

The first developmental concern identified by the community was that although the reddish lateritic soil of the village is fertile and support the agrarian economy, it is however coarse in texture and prone to intense erosion and leaching if over-ploughed in future as the population grows. In addition, the coarse nature of the soil renders it difficult to make bricks for construction. This is why houses in the village are constructed with wood and toilets are very shallow. More so land is not planned for different activities in Ediki-Bekoli village. The absence of spatial planning means that patches of farmlands are found around homes. Moreover, land-use planning is absent in the village. Consequently, fuel wood collection is done in farms and secondary forest in and around the village.

4.2. Local Market concerns:

Ediki-Bekoli has a market with a few poorly maintained stands. This market holds on Wednesdays and several items are sold there at very high prices due to high cost of transportation of these goods to the market. The market is attended by people from as far as Kumba during the dry season but during the rainy season, only villagers attend the market since the roads during this period are at their worst state. What is now the community hall used to be the village cooperative and it dates back to the 1980s.

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Details

Seiten
74
Jahr
2018
ISBN (eBook)
9783668840058
ISBN (Buch)
9783668840065
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v441403
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Buea – Geography
Note
Schlagworte
participatory rural development planning practice lessons ediki bekoli village cameroon

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Titel: Participatory Rural Development Planning