Projects of Farmer Tantoh
Overview November 2012
SYFA-USA was created by the inspiration from the work of Tantoh Nforba, Farmer Tantoh in Cameroon. Farmer Tantoh began simply as one individual committed to the purpose of improving the environment in his own community. In the beginning, he had no supporters and no funders, only a dream in his heart to do what was best for his community. Over the last 15 years, Farmer Tantoh has been joined by many volunteers from the local community and over 30 from western nations. Below is a sample of the projects he has completed, or is currently involved with.
Binju Baptist Church Environmental Project
Farmer Tantoh started the Binju Baptist Church project after he completed high school in 2001. The church was very bushy, inhabited by harmful animals, and filled with broken bottles and litter. By starting the garden, Farmer Tantoh hoped to increase the congregation’s respect for the environment by providing them the opportunity to take part in caring for the beautification of their church.
Bambili Baptist Church Environmental Project
The project at Bambili Baptist marks a successful beginning to Farmer Tantoh’s volunteer projects. It was initiated in 2003 while Farmer Tantoh was studying agriculture at the Regional college of Agriculture in Bambili, Cameroon. This project really marked the successful beginning to Farmer Tantoh’s volunteer projects and help him gain recognition as a true environmentalist.
Organic Landscaping Project
Farmer Tantoh sponsors and encourages a multitude of voluntary organic lawn care and flower gardening programs throughout Nkambe and other neighboring villages. The lawns are propagated through a system where volunteers plant organic lawns for community members on the condition that they will donate their grass seedlings for future volunteer projects.
Round-About and Canteen Project
Farmer Tantoh is currently building a roundabout and flowerbed to provide a place of relaxation for the public. Flowers have been planted inside the bed and some benches will be placed around the roundabout for resting. The bulk of the funding for this project was raised by Yi Zhang from Wellesley College and Masumi Hayashi Smith from Brown University. Other funding and donations came from the local Nkambe residents. The roundabout is currently the second largest flowerbed in Cameroon’s Northwest province.
Coordination with Local Churches
In Cameroon, religion is a large part of the local culture and Farmer Tantoh plans to use the local churches as a starting point for generating environmental awareness. The plan is to develop projects at facilities like the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) in the town of Ndu. Farmer Tantoh believes that by initiating planting of organic greenery in the Seminary, it can influence all the graduating pastors to start similar projects in their churches.
There is also a strong effort to expand Famer Tantoh’s organic lawn projects to churches through the province, encouraging them to be more environmentally friendly and protect the surrounding area from soil erosion. Organization is interested in working with all religious organisations in Cameroon in addition to the Baptist Church. If your organization may be interested in participating or in providing funding support for these programs for churches in Cameroon please contact Farmer at www.syfaglobal.org/take-action/ .
Youth Micro-Finance Projects
Farmer Tantoh has developed several youth micro-finance projects to allow local youths an opportunity to learn environmental concepts, better understand business and to generate income for themselves and their families. Micro-Finance Projects have included raising guinea pigs and bee keeping. Farmer is looking to expand his programs to include raising chickens and rabbits as well as growing flowers.
The program works to teach the participants about their particular undertaking so they have the knowledge to succeed. In addition the youth are given basic instruction in managing their business. Upon completion of the training they are provided the materials and a small amount of money to get their project started. In return for the investment the youth are required to provide compost materials to the organic gardens and to volunteer their time on projects.
Farmer Tantoh working with SYFA-Cameroon has many more projects he would like to undertake. The following are projects that he hopes to be able to start soon and which SYFA-USA is committed to raising money to support.
SYFA Resource Centre
The Centre aims to serve as an environmental training location and resource library for all the 32 rural villages that make up Mbum Land (the greater Nkambe Area).
Water Source Protection
SYFA is worried about the disappearance of springs in Nkambe and Sub–Saharan Africa. This issue prompted Farmer Tantoh to specialise in spring catchment protection at the Regional College of Agriculture. In order to meet our objectives, we envisaged projects to protect springs in Nkambe through the planting of agroforestry trees and sensitizing the rural population with posters and sign posts.
Bamenda Recycling Centre
As the fourth largest city in Cameroon, Bamenda (pop. 2 million) is the Provincial headquarters of the North West Province. Despite its large size, there is no waste management system to account for the indiscriminate disposal of waste. Instead, the city council transports the waste out of the city to burn. The burning causes harmful pollution. In the neighbourhoods, residents dump waste into the streams and rivers which pollutes the water. A recycling centre in Bamenda will take large steps to solve this problem.
Donga Mantung Division, where the focus of Famer Tantoh’s is has poor roads, which make many rural villages inaccessible. In order to manage projects and transport volunteers into every corner of this Division requires a 4-Wheel Drive vehicle.
Renovating Rooms To Accommodate Volunteers
In order to support the growing number of volunteers SYFA receives, we would like to renovate the local property to more comfortably situate them.
If you would like to provide financial support for any of these projects please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org