Adolf Ngbe Ebong is a 62 years old retired policeman. He was planning to farm palm trees on his four hectares of land to support his family, in Babensi II village.
“SGSOC came in Nguti, they said they wanted to open a palm plantation, and we all vehemently refused. One day, I came in my farm and I found out that everything has been felled down, they bulldozed everything. I knew I was going to develop this place for me to earn my living and even when I would die, for my children to remain there but today, I have no place. We are all crying here, and we don’t know how we can be rescued. I feel like dying, I have nothing else but this land.”
“We tried to meet with the SGSOC people, and they said that our neighbouring village gave them this land. Are they not supposed to try to find out whose this land belongs to?” – Adolf Ngbe Ebong
Susan Tah Agbo was born and raised in Nguti. Her two sisters passed away, and she is taking care of 24 people thanks to her twenty hectares of land. Her farm is located within the concession area that was demarcated by SGSOC. Every day when she leaves her house to go to her farm located in the forest, she fears that the company had destroyed her crops.
“One day when I was going to the bush, I saw red marks on the trees, and we were told that SGSOC was coming. We plant banana, plantain, pineapple, plum, mango, pear, and medicinal herbs… We get everything from the forest and we know they will cut all the trees. My parents raised me to be a farmer, and this is thanks to my crops that I can pay for the education of all the children I’m supporting. How are we going to live if SGSOC takes our farms? How are we going to eat? I have no other means. I don’t want money, because who knows for how many years it will last? It won’t help my children and grandchildren, but my farm will, as I have crops every year. “
"How are we going to live if SGSOC takes our farms? How are we going to eat? I have no other means." - Susan Tah Agbo
Verine Epamba Diangi is 25 years old, he comes from Meangwe II, in Mundemba area. This student started to work on a SGSOC plantation in 2011, relying on his salary to pay his school fees. He worked several months before being granted a one year contract in October 2012, but he was fired without notice seven months after.
“On the 16th of May 2013, they rang the bell to gather us. The hierarchy of the company told us to stop working, and that they would call us back within a month. It’s been three years now, and they never called us. I was doing many things: tearing the soil, dropping letters in the area on a motorbike as there is no network, fixing roads for trucks… I was happy with this job as I knew it would help me to continue schooling. I feel demoralized, until today, I have still not been able to go back to school. In September 2015, SGSOC called several workers to compensate them, but we are a lot who didn’t get anything, whereas they breached our contracts without notice! I organized many ex workers to meet with SGSOC, but when we met them, they treated us like animals yelling at us “there is no money for you, just go”!”
On September 14th, the Labor office in Mundemba organized a conciliation meeting between SGSOC and Verine and his coworkers, but the company representatives never showed up. This case will escalate to a civil court.
"They treated us like animals yelling at us “there is no money for you, just go”!”
- Verine Epamba Diangi
It’s time for us to act! We have to ensure that SGSOC’s license is not renewed. Sign the petition NOW to ask the Cameroonian government to stop this project and protect his communities and forest!