Restoration of Lake Ossa's banks is essential to manatee survival
In most of its range, including in the lower Sanaga, the African manatee faces three main threats: poaching, bycatch, and habitat degradation. To limit one of these threats, namely the degradation of its habitat, it is important to reforest the banks of Lake Ossa, which are increasingly degrading. To limit erosion and slow down siltation of the lake, the most concrete solution was to reforest the banks of the lake through the transplantation of 5000 plants. It took effect in November 2018, more specifically on November 14, 2018, with training on techniques to create a nursery. This initiative was funded by the GEF small programs, as part of the project "Effective involvement of local communities in improving the conservation status of the African manatee (Trichechus Senegalensis) in Lake Ossa and Douala Wildlife Reserves. -Edéa. "
Thus, in the context of this project, 15 young people, including 13 fishermen and 2 women, followed the training which led to the establishment of two nurseries of roughly 200m2 for an average production of 2500 plants each in the commune of Dizangue. The training was conducted by a local expert and a senior water and forestry technician, first through theory, then through practical sessions. Beyond the environmental objective, the training was also intended to open perspectives of economic activity alternative to fishing via the cultivation of plants. During the practice, a nursery of 200 m2 sheltering 2500 plants was created behind the department of conservation of Dizangue then a second one of 200 m2 sheltering 2500 plants was set up still in Dizangue (at the public school of Beach). Thus, two nurseries with a total of 5000 plants were set up. The nursery although regularly watered and followed by two young people did not have optimal production. At the beginning of the short rainy season (in March 2019), a total of 1680 seedlings emerged from the nurseries and were used to continue the reforestation of the lakeshore, specifically in the town of Koungue. At present, the fishermen trained in November 2018, as well as the staff, continue the restoration process, monitoring the reforested areas around Lake Ossa. We plan to expand this activity to other sites affected by deforestation.