Ecological Balance has planted some 2700 indigenous trees seedlings including 11 native tree species like the globally threatened Entandrophragma angolensis (big leaf mahogany), Prunus africana (pygeum) and Voacanga angolensis at the Bwitingi water catchment in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon, using the innovative miyawaki method. The trees were planted in August 2021 to recharge ground water and increase the water table of the catchment, which is the lone source of drinking water to over 5000 homes in Bwitingi and other neigbouring villages.
Planted with the help of some volunteers, the initiative was greeted with so much joy by community members, who saw it as step towards restoring the identity of the Bwitingi village. “The name Bwitingi means half water half land. In the early 19th century, about half of our land was covered in water and everyone required the services of canoes to get access to and go out of Bwitingi village. We are losing the meaning of our name! If nothing is done to safeguard this river and it eventually dries up completely like the others, then we would have lost our trade mark. Many people prefer our water because it is colder and purer than others found at lower areas along the Mt. Cameroon gradient. I am afraid this might not be the case someday if nothing is done to protect the catcment,” said Mola Mokoto, Bwitingi village notable during a consultation meeting with the staff of Ecological Balance.
Bwintingi water catchment is the third chapter of the SUGi – Ecological Balance love story. Beside suppling water to over 5000 homes, the catchment is a veritable water source for many from other neighborhoods in Buea, as vehicles take turns daily to tap the precious liquid for different homes. The river also hosts several car washes along its course.
The planting of the 2700 trees at the water catchment, is the fruit consultative talks with local authorities that started early 2021. The rewilding exercise was made possible with funds donated by The SUGi Project through the SUGi app.