Yaounde urban famer Juliana NUMFOR has six plots of land where she grows maize, cassava, sweet potatoes and leafy vegetables.The soil in which her crops grow is moist and visibly marshy, and a stream of water runs near it. Thanks to these marshy plots she makes a year round harvest because of the available water, Numfor explained to CECOSDA on the occasion of the World Wetland day on February 2, 2014.
Juliana is not alone on the fields, other men and women are also farming with her on the wetlands. They explained that farming in wetlands enable them to maintain a sustainable livelihood, by raising money to pay childrens’ school fees, house rents and hospital bills. Wetland farming besides being an important source of living, it however has some health and environmental threats. But these farmers have little or no idea about it.
This practice poses a threat to them because the water that runs into urban marshy areas is from domestic waste which contains pathogenic organisms and disease vectors that can live on crops and the skin. The risk is not only to the urban agriculturalists, but also to the consumers of the crops grown on these fields.
While sensitizing these women on the health dangers of farming in these waters, CECOSDA staff also educated them on how crops from these fields can be watered with naturally filtered water, the same water but which passes through the ground filters. They equally received lessons on how to avoid direct contact with waste water flowing directly from homes.
CECOSDA asked the women to be good ambassadors of sustainable development by passing these important lessons to other farmers