Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge and the Sustenance of Local Livelihood Strategies in Buabua and Kimbi ─ the Lake Nyos Gas Disaster Resettlement Camps, NWR of Cameroon

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue X, October 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge and the Sustenance of Local Livelihood Strategies in Buabua and Kimbi ─ the Lake Nyos Gas Disaster Resettlement Camps, NWR of Cameroon

Augustine Toh Gam1, Nobert Tohnain Lengha2, Reeves Meli Fokeng1*

1Department of Geography and Planning, Faculty of Arts, University of Bamenda, Cameroon
2 Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Cameroon
*Corresponding author

Abstract─ Natural disasters in most parts of the world have resorted to many fatalities, forced migration and involuntary resettlement of the affected population. Lake Nyos Gas Disaster of 1986 which killed about 1,746 people and led to forced migration of over 15,000 affected people and the subsequent resettlement of survivors in resettlement camps in near by administrative sub-divisions in the North West Region of Cameroon is one of such natural catastrophies. The paper evaluates the use of Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK) in agriculture and how it has helped to sustain the livelihood of this environmentally traumatized resettled population. The study sampled two of these resettlement villages (Buabua and Kimbi) to access Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK) and the sustenance of local livelihood strategies. Field campaigns including the administration of semi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGDs) facilitated the collection of data on IAK practices and how this knowledge helps in sustaining local livelihoods. A total of 24 Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK) were identified, with 54.16% of them used in crop cultivation, and 45.83% in livestock farming including the raising of small ruminants, poultry and piggery production. IAK shows successful results after being applied as there is increased crop and livestock yields. The use of IAK in agriculture has led to sustainable and efficient land use within the study area. Despite the rising use of IAK and potential benefits in agriculture and the sustenance of local livelihoods in Buabua and Kimbi, survivors still express a strong desire to return to the former disaster zone. The underlying reasons behind this phobia is mainly small land sizes ranging from 30-50 square metres that were allocated to households for both crop cultivation and grazing, and the fact that the limits between grazing and crop land are not clearly demarcated. Prospects for agricultural expansion within the area are therefore slim and need to be addressed.

Keywords─Lake Nyos Gas Disaster, IAK, Sustenance, Local livelihood strategies, resettlement Camps

Related Post