November 2021: resting after a long day of work enjoying the warm wind of nature, the volleyball court is on my right.

This afternoon of October 10, we wrap up after two days of workshops with the indigenous communities affected by the Camvert project. I can’t wait to get back to the hotel to have fun and relax by the sea, just like I did the last time I was here, a year ago. But too bad for me, the hotel – at least the back of it – has been swallowed up by the sea. From a distance, I can see a barrier of tape with red stripes that sends a clear message: “Do not cross”. And indeed, on the other side, everything has aged, it smells of death, there is no more life, no one goes there. The risks have become too high. Whoever dares may be swallowed up by the sea, or by another landslide. 

The hotel’s terrace is deteriorating, endangering the lives of visitors

One of the hotel managers explains what happened. “The sea has been advancing gradually. Five years ago, the hotel was at least seven metres from the sea. Slowly, the sea encroached and two years ago we had to build the staircase-bridge to facilitate access to the sea. And since August 2022, we have been obliged to put up the tape. But in reality, we have been suffering from the high waves of the sea for many years. It’s a frightening development for the survival of the hotel itself.”

The sea is receding, with great strides

Along the city, several beaches have almost disappeared. The sea is greedy and leaves no space for tourists, yet the city of Kribi remains one of the favorite destinations for Cameroonian and foreign tourists. 

A few miles from Kribi, there is an important part of the Cameroonian forest. Every day that passes, a tree falls. The surrounding populations are powerless and they too complain about the winds that have become more violent, because the trees that served as a protective barrier between the sea and them have fallen. The area is widely covered by agro-industries because of its rich biodiversity, and it covers a large part of the Congo Basin forests. 

Today, it is a volleyball stadium that has been lost because of the advancement of the sea. You might think that’s not important, but we should take this as a warning that there will be more dangerous consequences of deforestation in years to come. If we take care of nature, it takes care of us, but if not, we have to be ready to pay the price, even if it is a heavy one. Climate change is not a concept created to feed debates in the media and during meetings such as the COP27. It is a reality, the effects of which do not spare anyone. Nature does not make a distinction between large and small polluters.That is a purely human construction. Everyone is paying the price, and will continue to do so, if nothing is done now. 

CTA Sign this petition to ask the Cameroonian government to stop the abusive cutting of trees in our forests. 

Luchelle Feukeng, back from Kribi