Thursday, January 15, 2009

On the road

My thoughts today have turned to the sustainability of sustainable development. I recently visited a lively development organisation in Bamenda. They had provided a lot of services to their members, including the services of a fieldworker. They published three glossy magazines in 2007, funded and bearing the logo of a funder, but none at all in 2008, when that funding ceased. In other words, activity funded by development money cannot always be maintained when the funding source is no longer there.

Today (Thursday) I went to visit a local organisation in Belo, a small market town some distance (about 30 miles) from Bamenda. This organisation trains and supports beekeepers, among other things, and the area is renowned for producing the best honey in Cameroon. The landscape around Belo reminded me of north Wales, except for the tall papaya trees!

On the way there we (Desiree and I) took a local taxi to a field on the edge of Bamenda which served as a sort of bus station for taxis. Then a crowded taxi (with eight people on board)drove along the winding highway to Belo. On the way back I think we made a world record, I think: ten people aboard a family-sized car. There were four adults in the back (me and three Cameroonian ladies), one small child and a baby, then three men sat squashed in the front passenger seat with the driver. The boot was full to bursting with farm produce including a real-life squawking chicken-in-the-basket!
The pictures above show, from top to bottom:
  • A market stall in Belo
  • The importance of the little town in the hills - note the satellite dish
  • The Obama snackbar in Bamenda, renamed recently for some reason
  • HQ of development bodies in the town

1 comment:

sec said...

I love the Obama Snack Bar. Maybe that's a sustainable development because it can keep reinventing itself.