Monday, March 21, 2016

Fighting for Justice

Tabi Joda, a Climate Cluster Development Strategist, an award winning Social Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Farmer and Development Consultant, a Global keynote speaker on Climate Change, Human Security, Anti-Corruption and Entrepreneurship, talks about his work, and one of the most pressing concerns in Cameroon and Nigeria today.

I was born to a nomadic family in a small countryside called Acha-Tugi in the Adamawa highlands of Cameroon and raised in Nigeria. I was fortunate my family knew the value of education. So as a young boy, I went to school in the morning and by the close of school I went into the fields to take care of cattle and goats which were the primary source of income for our family. What I do today is apparently a culmination of experiences and passion developed in a childhood surrounding by duty, focus, and lots of economic hardships.

I work on innovating ideas that exploit and convert challenges of climate change, agroforestry, into opportunities that add value to life and create sustainable livelihood for individuals and communities. For example, in Kaduna state Nigeria, I initiated an idea on how communities can convert waste into wealth and it creates jobs and wealth with decisive ability to reduce GHG and health hazards associated to waste dumping. In Cameroon my organization has a pilot agroforestry model farm that is training lots of youths on climate-smart-agriculture, a new forest of 2000 trees to reduce desertification and restore landscapes, a new community cooperative for women to produce home-made low cost food supplements, body oils, balms, and skins ointment from natural plants planted in our forest. Returns from these products are re-invested to fund the free trainings for youths, women and unemployed people interested in green sustainability.  

Apart from the deleterious effects of climate change, violent extremism, cyber crimes; modern slavery, human trafficking the world is confronted with two huge threats not being talked about. One is only-talk-no-action syndrome, and human selfishness. We have more educated people today than ten twenty years ago but more educated people have not brought much needed prosperity instead poverty, human rights abuses, hunger, violence, diseases and disasters are rife.  

Now, let's talk about #JusticeForMoniqueKoumate. Monique Koumate was pregnant with twins and was abandoned to die in labour pains at one of Cameroon’s highly acclaimed hospital due to her inability to pay pre-maternity charges. I don’t know this woman but like any woman on planet earth, she deserves DIGNITY. Moreso, she was left to die with her twins innocently. Their pain is the pain of every child anywhere in this world. If not for fate, I would have been one of the children and the child me. So without much stories, we can address this matter by calling on the government of Cameroon to punish the authorities concerned, to make justice for all women and children on earth and most importantly to deter such service negligence whether in India, Nigeria, South Africa and where else these porosities and abuses can potentially occur.

The same or similar checks like those in a cockpit should be set in public service delivery systems to make sure no one’s action or inaction undermines principles that protect lives. What are your ideas on a viable solution? The social media has become the biggest umpire representing the voice of the masses. When this kind of despicable act happens, we all must mobilize voices across the world to question the authorities and force an action in people’s favour.

When I was a child, there were times I didn’t have shoes to wear. I trekked a distance of six kilometres from home to school and back then wonder into the fields with our cattle. Though they all thought me duty, the inherent hardship weren’t funny. I don’t wish that for any child. Because these were all results of policy weaknesses or human negligence, I am inspired to add value to people’s lives by creating conditions that aid man’s ability to enjoy a sustainable and happy life on planet earth.