Protect the environment.
Our projects have an environmental focus including: water supply systems and watershed management; sustainable gardening, -farming and -landscaping; and conservation.
Our projects always include an exchange of knowledge between everyone involved. Local knowledge is preserved and new insights are discovered. This also ensures the sustainability and longevity of our projects.
Our projects are planned and carried out in close cooperation between the local community and SYFA. Through the shared work social bonds are created and local communities strengthened.
2001 Sustainable landscaping, seed- and soil conservation project in Binju
In 2001 Farmer Tantoh initiated a project at the Baptist church of Binju, a village of 5,000 people in Donga-Mantung, Northwest Region. The area around the church was bushy, inhabited by wild animals and filled with broken bottles and litter before he began his work there. He and other members of the local community ploughed the yard and planted organic lawns and flowers, some of which came from Farmer Tantoh’s own collection while others were collected from the wild and some were donated. The grass and flowers make the place pretty, while their roots prevent soil erosion which threatens the structures stability. Their seeds are now used for various other sustainable landscaping and gardening projects in the area. Members of the congregation thereby also learned about the importance of environmental protection and sustainability. The church provided materials for the project and assisted in fencing the area. After completion, the renewed area around the church was proudly named «Garden of Eden» by the members of the congregation. The project is now continued by SYFA. Special thanks to Gregor Moray Smith and his family in Scotland as well as WWOOF UK.
2001 Sustainable landscaping, seed- and soil conservation project in Donga-Mantung
In 2001 Farmer Tantoh started running sustainable landscaping and -gardening services throughout Donga-Mantung, a department of the Northwest Region with 337,533 inhabitants. He and other locals started to plant organic lawns for members of their communities on the condition that they would later donate their seedlings for future projects, thus conserving local biodiversity. In addition, the creation of organic lawns and the plantation of plants with deep roots conserves the soil by protecting it from erosion, which also adds significantly to the structural integrity of the houses. The project is now continued through SYFA for more than 100 homes in local villages (including Nkambé, Tabenken, Moh, Kungi, Binshua, Ngi, Njap, Mbot, Binka, Taku, Ndu, Akweto and others). It’s growing popularity has also led many local inhabitants to plant organic lawns independently. Prominent examples in the area include:
– Nkambés hospital and petrol station
– Kumbo’s Integrated School for the Blind
– Bambili’s Student Development Centre
2003 Sustainable landscaping and conservation project in Bambili
In 2003 Farmer Tantoh initiated a project at the Baptist church of Bambili, a village of 25,100 people in Mezam, Northwest Region. The bushy and unkempt yard around the compound was ploughed through and transformed into a beautiful organic lawn including several flowerbeds. This not only helps in protecting the church from soil erosion, but also created a space for children to play and members of the congregation (about 200 people) to gather together. The project received financial aid from the church. With your donations we are looking forward to further this project by paving the yard to make the church more accessible as well as planting trees and flowers in order to provide shade and protect local biodiversity. Special thanks to WWOOF UK for their support.
2006 Sustainable landscaping, -gardening and conservation project in Nkambé
In 2006 we created the Chua‐Chua Botanical Gardens in Nkambé, a city of 32,900 people in Donga-Mantung, Northwest Region. Before the establishment of the gardens, the area was laden with brush and debris. After much hard work, we transformed it into a lavish garden of local and exotic plants which now serves as an open community space to bring people together and cherish the environment. People gather at the site for various social events. Schoolchildren make regular field trips to the gardens to study plants and insects. The presence of the gardens has played a crucial role in increasing the community’s interest in understanding and preserving the environment. In response to the building of the gardens, local residents have started cultivating their own organic gardens. With your financial support we would like to continue the work in the gardens including:
– installing an irrigation system,
– planting various additional trees and plants,
– installing solar lamps to light the gardens in the evening and during celebrations,
– constructing a washing point to protect the nearby river from pollution,
– installing benches and huts for rest and relaxation,
– building two small bridges and paving all paths with permeable pavers,
– fencing the gardens and eventually
– opening a canteen and handicraft workshop to create income to sustain the gardens in the future.
Special thanks to Albert Onega from the United States for his support.
2008 Sustainable landscaping, -gardening and conservation project in Ndu
In 2008 we donated flowers to the Environmental Club of the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) and helped them to plant the flowers throughout Ndu (Donga-Mantung, Northwest Region), in our effort to expand sustainable landscaping, -gardening and conservation projects throughout the area. We are interested in working with all communities, religious or otherwise.
2009 Water supply project in Nkambé
In 2009 we drilled two manual wells in Nkambé, a city of 32,900 people in Donga-Mantung, Northwest Region. They now provide over 5,000 local inhabitants with clean drinking water. Currently the pump of one of the wells needs to be repaired. We are awaiting funds to carry out this repair. Special thanks to the Student Association for International Water Issues from the United States for their support.
2009 Soil conservation and sustainable landscaping project in Nkambé
In 2009 we constructed a roundabout and flowerbed in Nkambé. It supports the soil and prevents erosion, thereby conserving the soil and making traffic more safe. Furthermore it’s a beautiful sight including plants like Gerbera Durantha, Salvia, Cordyline, Spiderplant and St. Peter for locals to enjoy. Special thanks to Yi Zhang and Masumi Hayashi Smith from the United States for their support.
2009 Watershed management project in Northwest Region
In 2009 we started to protect local watersheds throughout the Northwest Region in an effort to combat water scarcity. So far we have protected a total of seven watersheds: four in Nkambé (a village of 32,900 in Donga-Mantung) and three in Bamenda (capital of the Northwest Region with 500,000 inhabitants). At each site, we planted grasses, plants and trees at varying distances around the watershed. In a range from 0 to 20m around the watershed grasses like kikuyu- or elephant grass and rhizomes, as well as shallow root crops like sugarcane or pineapple, were planted. From 20 to 25m around the watershed agroforestry trees like Acacia, Leucaena and Calliandra were planted. From 25 to 50m, fruit- and timber trees like Mahogany and Iroko were planted. All those grasses, plants and trees help to protect the watersheds by preventing erosion and stabilising the water table. These projects also especially focus on educational measures to sensitise the local communities to proper watershed management. The local inhabitants are now able to carry their needed water over smaller distances and even use the overflow for gardening.
2012 Water supply project in Binju
In 2012 we constructed a water supply system in Binju, a village of 5,000 people in Donga-Mantung, Northwest Region. It includes a water tank of 5,000 litres from which the water is distributed through a system of two kilometres of underground pipes to four stand taps. Furthermore, we built a wash basin for locals to wash their clothes. We also fenced the main area to prevent stray animals from trespassing. The project is now making water access easier and reducing the distance water has to be carried daily, reducing the potential of transmitting water borne diseases as well as reducing the strain on other water sources in the area, especially important during the dry season.
2013 Water supply project in Ntiela
In 2013 we constructed a water supply system in a neighbourhood of about 15,000 people named Ntiela (in Bafut, Mezam, Northwest Region). We harnessed nine springs and channeled them into a collection chamber. Furthermore we built a water tank of 16,000 litres with stones and other materials as well as two stand taps. In addition, we constructed steps and hand railings leading up to the site. The water tank is now serving more than 20,000 people in the region. Due to the regions water scarcity, even people from distant Bamenda (capital of the Northwest Region with a population of about 500,000) carry water from the site. Special thanks to family Karlinger from Austria for their support.
2014 Soil- and water conservation project in Bamenda
In 2014 we started to collect 100 million beer-bottle caps in order to combat soil contamination and water pollution in Bamenda, a city of 500,000 in Northwest Region. The aim of this project, besides soil- and water conservation, is also to raise awareness about the importance of recycling among the local population. So far, we have collected a total of 45 million (45,000,000) beer-bottle caps.
A huge forest was on fire. All the animals were running for their lives, except a tiny humming bird who said: “We can do something to stop this fire.” So it flew as fast as it could to get water with its beak to sprinkle it on the fire. The other animals were laughing at it. “Who do you think you are? You are too small to stop this fire!” said the elephant with its large trunk. The humming bird replied: “I am doing the best I can. To me, this is what everyone should be doing, for if everyone was doing a little, no one would have to do a lot.”