Zephania Nji Fogwe
Bio: Zephania Nji Fogwe is an academic researcher from University of Bamenda. The author has contributed to research in topics: Stakeholder & Eucalyptus. The author has an hindex of 3, co-authored 8 publications receiving 39 citations.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors assessed the effectiveness of smallholder farmers' knowledge and aptitude to read weather signs for informed decisions on their daily and seasonal activities, based on eight focus group discussions and a survey of 597 farming households in seven agro-ecological basins on the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon.
Abstract: Anticipating seasonal and shorter time scale dynamics to farming practices is primordial for indigenous farmers’ resilience under extreme environmental conditions, where climate change is a menace to agro-hydro-ecological systems. This paper assesses the effectiveness of indigenous farmers’ knowledge and aptitude to read weather signs for informed decisions on their daily and seasonal activities. Such climate-proof development is anchored on indigenous people’s knowledge and perceptions in circumstances where the dearth of scientific evidence or information exists as in Cameroon. The study is based on eight focus group discussions and a survey of 597 farming households in seven agro-ecological basins on the Bui Plateau of the Bamenda Highlands. The results indicate that indigenous smallholder farmers value their ability to accurately observe and anticipate local conditions in various ways to serve their local realities more aptly than outside forecasts. Such local knowledge should thus exercise a complementary role weave in a local climate information understanding system that replicates ecological variability.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate the role of climate change in the occurrence and severity of floods in Douala and find no evidence that current floods can be attributed to the changes in patterns of rainfall being reported in policy and news domains.
Abstract: With urban populations worldwide expected to witness substantial growth over the next decades, pressure on urban land and resources is projected to increase in response. For policy-makers to adequately meet the challenges brought about by changes in the dynamics of urban areas, it is important to clearly identify and communicate their causes. Floods in Douala (the most densely populated city in the central African sub-region), are being associated chiefly with changing rainfall patterns, resulting from climate change in major policy circles. We investigate this contention using statistical analysis of daily rainfall time-series data covering the period 1951–2008, and tools of geographic information systems. Using attributes such as rainfall anomalies, trends in the rainfall time series, daily rainfall maxima and rainfall intensity–duration–frequency, we find no explanation for the attribution of an increase in the occurrences and severity of floods to changing rainfall patterns. The culprit seems to be the massive increase in the population of Douala, in association with poor planning and investment in the city's infrastructure. These demographic changes and poor planning have occurred within a physical geography setting that is conducive for the inducement of floods. Failed urban planning in Cameroon since independence set the city up for a flood-prone land colonization. This today translates to a situation in which large portions of the city's surface area and the populations they harbor are vulnerable to the city's habitual annual floods. While climate change stands to render the city even more vulnerable to floods, there is no evidence that current floods can be attributed to the changes in patterns of rainfall being reported in policy and news domains.
23 Jun 2017
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined the opportunities and challenges of urban greening in Bamenda and concluded that green space has become primordial in urban areas as it enhances public health, recreation, amenities and property values through its location, accessibility, proximity and serviceability.
Abstract: World urban areas are increasingly dabbling with the triple challenge of pollution, congestion and environmental degradation. The quest for sanity and healthy urban living led to the introduction of urban green space initiatives. Green space has become primordial in urban areas as it enhances public health, recreation, amenities and property values through its location, accessibility, proximity and serviceability. In a bid to develop an urban green space in Bamenda, the City Council identified the Bamenda escarpment in 2011 for protection. This was followed by a Green City Initiative now captioned the Green City Project. The Bamenda City Council partnering with the UN-Habitat and the Dordrecht/Gorinchem City Councils of the Netherlands seeks to implement an urban greening project with major focus to map out potential areas for creating parks in Bamenda. This project which is a novelty in the rapidly changing urban landscape of Cameroon seeks to contribute to building a green economy that enhances nature, environmental protection and at the same time offers economic and social benefits to its citizens. In this study, we examine the opportunities and challenges of urban greening in Bamenda. Some 50 inhabitants around the escarpment were purposively sampled while council authorities and other stakeholders were interviewed in the Bamenda I municipality in order to assess the opportunities, challenges and prospects for the project. This was complemented by secondary data obtained from the Bamenda City Council. The conclusion drawn is that the initiative will provide opportunities for employment, generate revenue for the City Council and prevent uncontrolled city sprawl against the backdrop of the relatively unstable nature of the foothills (due to mass wasting processes) and land use competition, largely driven by population growth and the daunting task of relocating prior users. We therefore argue in favour of the effective application of urban development policies to restrict encroachment around the area and to engage in slope stabilization where necessary.
TL;DR: In this article , the authors used mean annual Landsat-derived NDVI of cloud-free months to model vegetation degradation dynamics over 37 years (1984-2021) based on Ordinary Least Square (OLS) Regression and Pearson's Product Correlation of NDVI with Rainfall Anomaly Index (RAI).
Abstract: • Long-term vegetation degradation is assessed by means of time-series Landsat NDVI. • Mean annual NDVI and rainfall anomaly index (RAI) were compared. • Anthropogenic stressors are primarily responsible for vegetation degradation. • Vegetation degradation leads to declining land productivity and ecosystem services. Land degradation is a serious problem affecting the livelihoods of people leaving in marginal lands. Its assessment has been made easy by a plethora of remote sensing techniques. This study seeks to establish the spatiotemporal trends in vegetation degradation and its response to climate change and anthropogenic stressors in Southern Bui Plateau, Cameroon. The study used mean annual Landsat-derived NDVI of cloud-free months to model vegetation degradation dynamics over 37 years (1984–2021) based on Ordinary Least Square (OLS) Regression and Pearson's Product Correlation of NDVI with Rainfall Anomaly Index (RAI) on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Areas undergoing significant degradation are estimated at 10.81% (1469.08 km 2 ) and slight degradation, 23.57% (3202.39 km 2 ). Total degraded lands accounted for 34.38% (either 4671.47 km 2 ). Areas with slight improvement in vegetation cover accounted for 24.88%, while 9.69% area showed significant improvement. NDVI-Rainfall relationship revealed that areas significantly impacted by human activities and pressures ( r ≤ -0.50) driving vegetation changes covered 24.67% (either 3352.03 km 2 ), while those under climatic variability and change influence ( r ≥ 0.50 ≥ 0.90) accounted for 55.84% (either 7587.26 km 2 ), under both climatic and human stressors ( r ≥ 0.50 < 0.70), 13.09% (either 1779.01 km 2 ) and areas not significantly impacted, i.e., somewhat stable nature over the years accounted for 6.40% (869.04 km 2 ). Areas under human vegetation pressures occupy the heavily grazed landscapes, the transhumance paths, and forested areas of the Kilum-Ijim forest. The practice of sustainable land management and landscape restoration initiatives are key to achieving land degradation neutrality at watershed scale.
TL;DR: A field survey and secondary data treatment methodology to probe how communities at the reserve fringe have responded to unmet natural wood demands by pushing in eucalyptus tree plantations to result in forest reserve reversal as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Recent environmentalism in Cameroon and forest reserve creation has been varied in implementation and management between community and national stakeholders and policies. Good national intents for hot spot conservation saw the 1953 creation of the Bafut-Ngemba production forest reserve on the Bamenda Highlands, where today’s accelerated urbanization and development has largely engulfed. Pressure on the forest reserve resources has thwarted its spatio-temporal natural tree cover climax. The study uses a field survey and secondary data treatment methodology to probe how communities at the reserve fringe have responded to unmet natural wood demands by pushing in eucalyptus tree plantations to result in forest reserve reversal. Varied income-driven circumstances generated an overwhelming embrace of a eucalyptus culture swallowing up the natural trees. A thirty-year evaluation of the tree cover revealed a near 40% loss the reserve trees while eucalyptus laden-farmland have been gained ascendancy. This ecological colonization scramble was timid in the 1980s, then rapid in the 1990s and then exponential by 2018. There is a direct relationship between this spatial gains from the eucalyptus and population growth demand trends. The study therefore opts for a quick revisit of the initial forest reserve philosophy that is now being diluted in this eucalyptus embrace. These eucalyptus trees are ecological terrorists that should never be permitted to terrorize production forest reserves.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focused on concrete case studies from six major cities across the central, western, and eastern regions of the African continent (Douala, Lagos City, Dar-es-Salaam, Accra, Addis Ababa and Mombasa).
Abstract: Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in respect of climate change. As the African continent struggles to adapt to climate change, a variety of measures are being pursued to alleviate the resultant pressures on people, properties and their livelihoods in several African cities. Collectively, they show that climate change adaptation in Africa is not as hopeless as widely claimed, and that there are some promising prospects. The literature shows a deficiency on studies which examine the extent to which climate change adaptation is being pursued in African cities. This paper addresses this need, and outlines some of the most important climate threats (e.g. increasing temperatures, droughts, sea level rise, sea and river flooding) and synergic non-climate factors, as well as recent progress made in respect of implementing climate change adaptation in African cities. Rather than adopt a general description of trends, this research focuses on concrete case studies from six major cities across the central, western, and eastern regions of the African continent (Douala, Lagos City, Dar-es-Salaam, Accra, Addis Ababa and Mombasa). The vulnerability and adaptive capacity status of the studied cities are discussed. Difficulties and challenges encountered in implementing adaptation policies in these areas are also highlighted. Furthermore, some successful examples of climate change adaptation initiatives in the surveyed cities are provided. Finally, the paper outlines some of the policy measures which can be implemented towards strengthening the capacity of African cities to adapt to a changing climate.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors employed a combined use of geospatial techniques, key informant interviews and direct observations to explain the relationship between urban sprawl and flood occurrence, and found that impermeable areas have expanded by 54% from 1986 to 2016 while permeable space correspondingly declined by the same rate.
Abstract: Urban area expansion has often been cited as a flood inducing factor globally. However, there is a dearth of research on how the phenomenon influences the occurrence of floods in Ghana. This paper examines urban sprawl-induced green space depletion and its attendant implications for urban flood incidence in a developing world context. Focusing on Kumasi, the study employed a combined use of geospatial techniques, key informant interviews and direct observations to explain the relationships between urban sprawl and flood occurrence. The study found that impermeable areas have expanded by 54% from 1986 to 2016 while permeable space correspondingly declined by the same rate within the period due to unplanned and unregulated urban expansion. The high proportion of impermeable surface, caused by urban expansion, underlies the worsening flooding situation in Kumasi. But the myriad of other factors such as poor spatial planning, inadequate storm drain infrastructure, poor waste management practices, and law enforcement lax combine to increase the intensity and severity of the floods. Adopting and enforcing smart growth policies are key in addressing the uncontrolled urban expansion and its associated flood challenges. Besides, land use control through legislative enforcement and prioritizing greening by the city authorities and other key stakeholders are essential for effective flood control and mitigation in Kumasi.
TL;DR: An increasing accessibility of parks through planning interventions and promoting park use behaviour could be effective policy mechanisms to improve mental health and thereby to reduce the burden of expenditure on mental health in developing countries.
Abstract: The positive effects of urban green spaces on physical and mental health of urban residents have been widely documented. These studies, however, mainly focused their empirical investigations on the developed country context. There is limited knowledge on whether a similar impact occurs in the cities of developing countries. The study aims to explore the relationship between park visits and mental health status of residents in Tabriz, Iran. Data on the frequency of park visit and mental health status (14-items) were collected from 300 residents. Factor analysis was conducted and two fundamental dimensions of mental health status (having downward emo- tional state, and being content with life) were extracted from the 14-items. A multivariate multiple regression model was estimated to identify the links between frequency of park use and mental health status, also control- ling for other confounding effects. The results corroborate with that of developed countries, and show that the frequency of park visits is negatively associated with downward emotional state and positively associated with contentedness with life. An increasing accessibility of parks through planning interventions and promoting park use behaviour could be effective policy mechanisms to improve mental health and thereby to reduce the burden of expenditure on mental health in developing countries.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate the coastal cities of Abidjan, Cotonou, Lagos and Douala in West Africa and compare the urban development of some African huge cities and assess their impacts on groundwater.
Abstract: This paper investigates the coastal cities of Abidjan, Cotonou, Lagos and Douala in West Africa. Published data on these areas were aggregated in order to compare the urban development of some African huge cities and assess their impacts on groundwater. Those urban centers have experienced an exponential demographic expansion since the 1950s, with increased population densities and a geographical coverage expansion as well. The Continental Terminal aquifer, major groundwater resource taped in this region by the national water companies and local populations, shows a continuous downward trend in piezometric levels. Concerning water quality, the evolution up to the current state (saline intrusion, nitrate pollution) and the natural geochemical process (dilution, redox reactions) affecting the aquifer have been highlighted. The results confirm the urgent need to consider groundwater development relatively to demographic and economic growth. Some management approaches have been proposed including monitoring of contamination, protection of the resource and the use of shallow large-diameter wells, which have proved to be less saline and more sustainable than deeper small-diameter boreholes. The results and discussion of this paper have provided a considerable new insight of West African coastal cities. This will help stakeholders involved in local development to face the urban pressure.