Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

Cameroon Blog

The World's Diet Secrets

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In Cameroon, Miller wanted to explain the country's low colon cancer rate. She concluded that the diet--which consists largely of fiber, fermented foods, wild greens and healthy fats, and rarely includes meat--is essential to cancer prevention. The reasons? Whole grains, vegetables and other fiber-rich foods have been shown to positively affect colon cancer risk. Fermented foods like yogurt and pickles provide beneficial bacteria for the gut. Wild greens and healthy fats found in fish, nuts and unrefined cooking oil may also be protective.

Read on for more on health, including ways to increase your energy and tests that could save your life.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:08 AM, ,

Africa Map

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National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps are enormously entertaining and educationally powerful tools for introducing geography and map reading skills to students, grades K-8. What better way to teach young people the power of maps and the limitless depth of geography than a basketball court-sized map of a continent on which they can explore, travel from country to country, hop around, compete, collaborate and have lots of fun?

National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps, produced by National Geographic Live, tour the country’s schools, bringing hands- and feet-on geography education to 200,000 students each year. Designed to promote geographic literacy by igniting interest in geography, the maps and accompanying activities incorporate physical movement and games to teach students place names, physical geography, and cultural geography as well as map reading skills.

Africa’s tremendous Sahara, deep forest, and endless savanna await your students on this visually stunning map, based on the September 2005 National Geographic Magazine map insert. The brightly colored map is 26’ x 35’, and clearly illustrates oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals.

Explore the continent with your students using these educationally powerful and fun activities like Let’s Explore AfricaSimon Says…Explore!How Big Is Africa?Cardinal DirectionsA Legend-ary ExplorationAfrican Population and  Additional Activities. {National Geographic}

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:05 AM, ,

Assisting Struggling Villages

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The Nigeria/Cameroon Mixed Commission will soon address the problems of ``struggling'' villages caught in between the Nigeria and Cameroon boundary.

Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Mr. Sadiq Diggi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.

Diggi said the mixed commission had been working towards solving the problems of villages in Bakassi since the International Court of Justice ceded the area to Cameroon.

According to him, the commission is currently engaged with the delineation of the area. ``We are now about to finish the delineation exercise; we started from Borno and now we are at the head of River Taqua Bay which marks the end of the land boundary. "We have started putting in actual pillars, the pillars have gone almost one third and after that, the actual work of the survey will continue.

"While delineation is going on, unfortunately, we continue to experience villages struggling from one country to another and that we have to contend with. ``But we promise at the end of the whole exercise the mixed commission is going decide what to do on the issue of the struggling villages,’’ he said.

The director-general also advised that boundaries between states or nations should be demarcated to prevent problems between such states or nations.

"That way it will be much easier for people to agree on the terms and conditions of demarcation while they are at peace rather than when they are in disagreement,'' he said.

Diggi thanked Federal Government for empowering the commission to carry out its duties properly.
“I have to say that we are really very grateful to the government because our budget this year is by far much better than the budget of the last two years. “We hope to continue with our affairs non-stop, it will help to enhance the activities of the commission," Diggi said.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:20 PM, ,

Bambungo Integrated Mental Health Care {BIMEHC} welcomes CAT -Cameroon and its Volunteers

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Aaron Kaah Yancho

The conference hall of the Bambungo Integrated Mental Health Care (BIMHC) in the Ngokentujia division of the North West Region of Cameroon Feb, 20th 2012 was jammed to full capacity as the pupils and students and their parents who had come to welcome the CAT team sang in dance and joy to the honor of their guest.

The pupils had congregated from the Catholic school Bambungo, and the students from Government secondary school, Government high school, Government technical school and Star comprehensive college Bambungo under the BIMHC educational scholarship scheme offered by the center.
In a welcomed address to their August guests the director of the center Tumenta John said it was a dream came true for their pupils, students and their parents to have CAT Cameroon and its volunteers at their center. Mr. John told the center supported students and pupils that the event called for vigilance because it was a great learning exchange experience for them on renewable energy and environmental protection. John thanked CAT Cameroon for choosing his institution and for respecting the partnership to friendship and collaboration. The BIMHC boss told CAT Cameroon and its volunteers that his center was providing financial support and material to some 92 students and pupils from 6 different institutions in their community chosen from under privilege homes thanks to the financial contributions of friends of BIMHC in the Diaspora and home. Mr. John prayed CAT Cameroon and its volunteers the best and his students and pupils a rewarding learning experience.

Addressing the audience in the wake of high song and dance the director of CAT Cameron Njini Victor said the aim of their visit and theme of their campaign centered on building a sustainable environment. While laying emphases on the importance of protecting the environment, Victor called on the children to protect their environment by planting trees and seeking more affordable ways of waste disposal in their respective communities and livelihoods. The Director of CAT logically introduced the listeners to renewable energy sources and traced that the mission of his organization and aim was to exploit natural low cost resources at the best minimum for the social and economic development of households in the rural communities in Cameroon. He said the challenges posed by AES Sonel and high cost of energy bills called for an alternative source of cheap and affordable energy for cooking and lighting. A long lasting question and answer session ended the discussions especially on the advantages of solar energy in the communities.

The CAT Cameroon volunteers Lutz and Renate spiced and punctuated the discussions with sketches and musical drills. The high point of the event was the donation of medical equipment to the Bambungo Integrated Mental Health Care center by the Volunteers and some sporting paraphernalia to the students and Pupils of the BIMHC scholarship scheme.
In appreciation to the gift one of the Staff of the BIMHC Ghigha Immaculate said it was a blessing to have CAT and it volunteers in their center. The lady praised the volunteers to heaven calling on God to replenish their sources. A sporting event led by the volunteers with the children and their parents brought entertainment and joy to the audience. CAT affiliated with the Bambungo Integrated Mental Health Care in 2005 when it installed a solar plate for the production of energy in that in that institution.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:56 AM, ,

Leading Thinker from Cameroon

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Matt Berg comes in at No. 19 on Time’s roster of leading thinkers. Matt Berg looks very calm for a man who will have 100,000 children to look after. That might be because of his humble cell phone.

Berg, 32, is leading the push to track disease in Africa with 160-character text messages, or SMS. As technology director for ChildCount+, he helps oversee a network of community-health workers who regularly examine local children, treat their ills and then text back the status of every sick child they find. This allows for improved health monitoring, faster interventions and better immunization and treatment campaigns.

ChildCount+ has been in existence for only nine months and has already reported more than 20,000 nutrition screenings, 500 cases of malnutrition and 2,000 of malaria. Berg and his colleagues are now scaling up to monitor more than 100,000 children under 5.

The use of technology in Africa has long been Berg's passion, and he's made it his mission to nurture homegrown talent too. He helped establish the Rural Technology Lab in Mali, so local students can take over the job of ensuring their communities' health. Remarkable as Berg's work is, its greatest achievement will come when he's no longer the one doing it. Verclas is a co-founder of MobileActive.org {Via}

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:25 AM, ,

Bamenda Royal University goes operational with an open door event

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Aaron Kaah Yancho

A symbolic event to mark the start of the Bamenda Royal University took place at the Alankie Village of Mankon Bamenda on the 16th of Feb. 2012 Under the auspices of the of the north west regional delegate of Arts and Culture Mme Achua Sheila.

The founder of the Bamenda Royal University HRH Majesty Ambassador Simon Nsoh while addressing the public on the occasion said the university project was hatched to provide an opportunity for Cameroonians to improve on their lives and families. HRH Nsoh Simon elaborated the dream of the university as unique and one that would thrive on cooperative ideas. He said the university would operate from two locations and would take appropriate measures to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the Cameroon ministry of higher education. The founder called on the administration and the people of Mankon and Cameroon at large to put all hands on deck and make the dream came to fruition. The high point of the speech was the installation of the pioneer chair of the university board of governors and vice chancellor Prof Norbert Pintsch of the German Senior Expert Service and the Society for the Advancement of Culture.
Reacting to the founder of the university, the North West regional delegate of Arts and Culture Mme Achua Sheila appreciated the efforts of HRH Majesty Simon Nsoh and the people of Alankie community for initiating and piloting the university project.

The delegate called on the residence to shun excusive tendencies and to strive as one body. She called for hard and determination to make the dream of the university came to life. The dean of studies for the department of Appropriate Technology and Director of CAT Cameroon Njini Victor stole the event as he exhibited with a solar panel that people in the rural areas as well as in Alankie could do with out AES Sonel. Victor said solar energy was cheap and affordable for people in the rural areas. To the pupils of government primary school Alankie who had come to witness the event the CAT boss took them in a demonstrative lesson that solar energy and other alternative forms of energy were the hope of people like little income and earnings. He called on the pupils to make environment protection a priority. Victor said the technology was illustrative of the ability and academic program of the department of Appropriate Technology in the Royal University. The installed solar plate and its equipment were donated to the Royal University project.
The German born volunteers animated the event with drills and songs admist great euphoria. The exchange of gifts between the founder of the university project and the volunteers cemented and spoke of a lasting friendship. The event was attended by notables of the Alankie village, pupils of Government primary school Alankie, elite of the community and the Regional Delegate of Arts and Culture.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:48 AM, ,

Cameroon Fahion

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A centre for Cameroonian fashion designers has been inaugurated in the nation capital Yaoundé. The centre has been opened to bring together Cameroonian designers under one umbrella as a means of encouraging creativity and productivity. The move is also intended to encourage the marketing and distribution of made in Cameroon labels on the international market. The centre for Cameroonian Fashion Designers was launched by the Minister of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicraft, Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa. The Minister lauded the authors of the initiative which he said would generate revenue and create employment.

He said the inauguration would favour the growth and development of small and medium sized enterprises.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:48 AM, ,

Woodabe Girl in Niger

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The Wodaabe (or Bororo) are a small subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group. They are traditionally nomadic cattle-herders and traders in the Sahel, with migrations stretching from southern Niger, through northern Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, and the western region of the Central African Republic. The number of Wodaabe was estimated in 1983 to be 45,000. They are known for their beauty (both men and women), elaborate attire and rich cultural ceremonies.

The Wodaabe speak the Fula language and don't use a written language. In the Fula language, woɗa means "taboo", and Woɗaaɓe means "people of the taboo". "Wodaabe" is an Anglicisation of Woɗaaɓe. (Wikipedia)

See Ferdinand Reus' photostream

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:06 AM, ,

Papaya Tree

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:02 AM, ,


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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:31 AM, ,

BUST Honours Dr. Norbert Pintsch

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It was the sixth convocation of the Bamenda University of Science and Technology. The air was full, everyone was alert as the College of Professors and Doctors filled past to the ceremonial grounds.

It all began with an ecumenical service conducted by the Muslim , Presbyterian , Catholic and Baptist clergy. The grandaunts were called upon to have trust in God because their graduating today is because they had their trust in God. And that God who had empowered them this far will continue to empower them to the end.

Speaking on behalf of the University of Buea, with whom BUST has affiliations, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. V.K. Titanji told the Administration and graduates that UB will always keep its promises within the rules regulating higher education in Cameroon and that BUST has become one of the best higher institutions. Even despite the odds, BUST has effectively maintained the ideals of its founding father Rt Hon. John Ngu Foncha. Prof. Titanji revealed that BUST and UB signed a partnership in 2004 and UB is expected to always mentor BUST and present the later students at state examinations. For this reason, Diplomas are printed abroad to ensure higher quality. Prof. Titanji also stressed that the students graduating have received solid training and have received the stringent measures as stated by higher education Minister.

The Vice Chancellor of BUST Prof. Joseph B. Suh also noted that BUST has a long standing affiliation with UB that inter-alia guarantees their degrees, diplomas and certificates. He noted that BUST was graduating over 200 new lawyers and in twelve years of her existence has produced a total of 630 graduates. He equally stated that the issue of BUST is not numbers per sec but quality which remains their overriding and burning passion. Prof. Suh was also delighted to announce that their August visitor and benefactor over the years, Professor Doctor Norbert Pintsch of Free University Berlin, Germany was present and slated to be the proud recipient of BUST honorary degree which they will kindly bestow in recognition of his many contributions I the field of Appropriate Technology in Cameroon in general and the North West Region in particular.

The high point of the graduation was the award of an honorary Doctorate Degree to Prof. Norbert Pintsch the German born architect. The Vice Chancellor rose cap and addressed the Chancellor “Mr. Chancellor, candidate has been nominated by the Board of Governors of I n d u s t r i a l Development and Education Company (INDECO) for the honorary Doctorate Degree of Science and has been found worthy by the Senate.

Therefore, call upon the Dean of Post graduate studies to present the candidate Prof. Pintsch was presented and the Chancellor rose and received him saying “By the authority conferred on me, I confer on you the honorary degree of Doctors of Science”.

It was then that the Vice Chancellor assisted the Chancellor to rose and cap Prof. Pintsch. Before dressing up Prof. Pintsch, this is what the Vice Chancellor Prof. Suh said of Prof. Pintsch. Our candidate for the award of the first Bust Honorary Doctor of Science was born in Germany in the 1940’s. He is a professional architect who completed a building project at the age of 18, but later became a mud enthusiast by choice.

He is Norbert Pintsch, a remarkable global actor, as you would soon learn from his education and excerpt of his professional profile. Given that our candidate does not like publicity, may I refer you to what many have written and published about him on the web. I will therefore be very brief.

Professor Dr. Norbert Pintsch earned three master’s degree in Civil engineering, Architecture and Business Administration and two Ph. D. degrees respectively, in History of Arts from the University of Maryland, USA and in Philosophy - Sociology from the Germany University of Hagen. He was an outstanding Professor and Teacher at the Free University, Berlin.

His work profile reveals that he got into high steel construction from 1962-1965 and later combined research, lecturing, consultancy and national development plans, project design and building projects in his own country. Since 1973, he has worked on 133 different projects in Europe. He extended his global outreach to Pakistan, Cameroon and Columbia as a volunteer director in appropriate technology. In fact, he was one of the first leaders in mud architecture; a great resource which focuses on architectural construction with a variety of mud forms.

One of the best starting points for Prof. Dr. Pintsch is the mud building that stands in the Peerzada Festival area, the Green Acre of Lahore in Pakistan. Professor Dr. Pintsch had his first contact with BUST in 1995 and has since then, maintained regular visits to the institution. Since 2001, Professor Pintsch has also worked very closely with CAT-Cameroon, an appropriate technology centre in Bamenda. The main thrust of his current efforts combine self help projects with NGO concepts and university programs. From this, one can now understand the significance and potential gain from this BUST award. Like the late Founding Chairman of INDECO Ltd, His Right Honorable Dr. John Ngu Foncha, Prof. Pintsch holds that “It is essential to teach and encourage students to practice construction with local materials”.

Some of Prof. Dr. Pintsch’s work on appropriate technology includes working with children to evaluate the effects of climate change, building agricultural driers from solar energy, preparing small biogas units, building solar water heaters, constructing dry closet toilets, constructing wind mills and figuring out how to use appropriate technology to assess traffic data. These are all technological applications which are very useful to Cameroonians in general and the rural Cameroonian in particular. Consequently, BUST with the assistance of Prof. Dr. Pintsch is ready to start a school of Appropriate Technology during the 2012-2013 academic year. This will enable, not only Cameroonians but all young men and women within the Sub Region to be trained in the different appropriate technologies, in order that the products of such trainings can be made available to more users. Our Right Honorable Chancellor Sir, this is a very brief profile of your Doctoral Candidate. Prof. Pintsch is quite ready to start a school of Appropriate Technology at BUST with the collaboration of Centre for Appropriate Technology, CAT Cameroon. Prof. Pintsch has been working with CAT Cameroon for over 15 years.

Shortly after the honorary recognition, Prof. Pintsch went back to the Head Office of CAT Cameroon where students of CRTV Youth Forum were receiving lectures on Appropriate Technology. Over the years, CAT Cameroon has been collaborating with schools, organizing free passive solar active technology training workshops for students. It has also been organizing open days or public exhibitions on some Appropriate Technologies as solutions to climate change and adaptation. During such, some site attractions like cooking, baking, drying, boiling, lighting with solar energy have often taken pride of place. It should be noted that the Director and CEO of CAT Cameroon, have made CAT to excel in the field of Appropriate Technology with a ten year experience.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:36 AM, ,


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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:45 AM, ,

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