Main Article Content
Mountainous regions and other difficult terrains, the world over, present significant challenges to communities as they strive to carry out their daily activities. In spite of these difficulties, strategies have been employed by communities to cope with such difficulties, yielding diverse outcomes. The extent and outcomes of survival strategies employed by communities, still beg for scientific and policy edification, in the context of the Western Highlands of Cameroon. This paper contributes to bridge the knowledge gap, by examining the survival strategies employed by locals in the Kom Highlands to confront the challenges presented by the harsh physical environment. 10 key informant interviews were conducted accompanied by a representative survey of 60 farming household heads, drawn from 5 villages in Fundong. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical tools, including the Chi-square analysis. The results reveal that Kom displays a plethora of harsh physical environmental characteristics, prominent among them are the hilly and difficult terrain, the poor soil quality and the generally cold weather conditions witnessed here. Faced with these challenges, the population employed a number of survival strategies in the agricultural sector, housing and transport. These strategies are unfortunately inadequate and such inadequacy is accounted for by their low level of technology, poverty, ignorance and other cultural factors, among others. The study therefore recommends the need to improve and modernize agriculture through the provision of fertilizers at subsidized rates to the farming population, the encouragement of effective slope stabilization and terracing and also for rigorous government intervention in terms of road and fly over constructions.
Slocombe DA. Environmentalism: A modern synthesis. Environmentalist; 1980. 4:281–5.
Mulihill PR. Endless paradox: Environmentalism in transition. Futures. 2009;41:502–6.
Meybeck M, et al. A new typology for mountains and other relief classes: An application to global continental water resources and population distribution. Mountain Research and Development 2001;21:34-45.
Boateng OE, Ewusi K, Kanbur R, McKay A. A poverty profile for Cameroon, 1987- 88. Social dimensions of adjustment working paper No.5. Washington DC: World Bank; 1990.
Achiri-Okyere WK, Benneh G, Tims W. (Eds.) Sustainable food security in West Africa. London: Klumer Academic; 1997.
World Bank. Country briefs. Washington DC: The World Bank; 2005.
Fogwe ZN, Tchotsoua M. Ecological adaptability and slope-trait considerations for water and soil conservation on the vulnerable Oku-Kom Plateau in the Western Highland of Cameroon, Kamla-Raj 2010 J Hum Ecol. 2010;30(1):19-25.
Kimengsi JN, Pretzsch J, Mukong AK, Ongolo S. Measuring livelihood diversification and forest conservation choices: Insights from rural Cameroon, Forests. 2019;10(2):81;1-16.
Kimengsi JN, Mukong AK, Balgah RA, Pretzsch J, Kwei J. Households’ assets dynamics and ecotourism choices in the western highlands of Cameroon, Sustainability. 2019;11(7):1844;1-16.
Kimengsi JN, Moteka PN. Revisiting participatory forest management and community livelihoods in the Kilum-Ijim montane forest landscape of Cameroon. International Journal of Global Sustainability. 2018;2(1):39-55.
Fundong Communal Development Plan. Fundong Municipality; 2012.
Kimengsi JN. Pamol industrial growth and land use conflicts in Ekondo-Titi Sub-Division, South West Region of Cameroon. Proceedings of the second post graduate seminar on conflict prevention management and resolution, organised by the faculty of social and management sciences, University of Buea, 28th January; 2009.
Gwan EA. L’Hommeet la Montagne Tropical, Sepanrit Yaoundé; 1988.
Gwan EA. Quest for Survival in Harsh Environment. In Ekona Lelu; 1988.
Lambi CM. Revisiting the environmental Trilogy: Man, environment and resources. In Lambi CM. ed (2001). Environmental Issues: Problems and prospects, Unique Printers, Bamenda. 2001 ;105-118.
Lambi CM: The impact of human activity on land degradation in some highland regions of Cameroon: Implications for development in Lambi, CM ed. Environmental Issues: Problems and Prospects, Unique Printers, Bamenda; 2001.
Dongmo JL. Le role de l’Homme a traverse ses activites agricoles et pastorale dans l’evolution des milieux sur les haut terrede L’Ouest Cameroun. In Kadomura Ed. Natural and Man- induced Environmental Changes in Tropical Africa: Case Studies of Cameroon and Kenya, Hokkaido University; 1984.
Sah CF. Land use dynamics on the Tiwou Plateau of the Bamenda Highlands: A search for socio-economic and environmental stability. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Buea; 2011.