Apifed, a non-governmental organisation organisation working with local communities in the South Region of Cameroon has dismissed claims it has reached an agreement to partner Corrie MacColl’s Sudcam plantation to to launch a community engagement programme in Cameroon.
The Director of Apifed, Marie Ba’ane, stated recently that they have not signed any engagement with Corrie MacColl but did say they had agreed on a joint mission to the field to verify the grievances of the local communities.
Her reaction comes after Corrie MacColl announced on December 3, the partnership which they said will target the area surrounding Corrie MacColl’s Sudcam plantation and will directly engage with all Baka and Bantu communities.
But Marie Ba’ane had other interpretations to their discussions and set to put things out clear.
” Corrie Macoll, who is the sponsor of SudCameroun Hevea, contacted us to understand the grievances(of the local communities) against them and to see how they could make amends. We told them we had nothing to propose but the only condition we are advancing is to go down on the field and to verify and confirm the veracity of all complaints against them. It is on the basis of this that we got engaged and we are neither their partners, nor are we contracted to sudhevea cameroun, we are there to establish the truth,” Marie Ba’ne said.
“«We have not signed any engagement but we had discussions and we posed our conditions and we stated that in order to solve the grievances of the communities, the first thing is to effectively go down to the field and listen to their grievances.” she added.
She revealed the joint mission will begin its work on the field this coming week and the report is expected by February 2020.
On his part, Eric Eni, Greenpeace Africa Forest Campaigner described Corrie MacColl’s move as a public relations stunt rather than an attempt to address issues raised by the indigenous communities.
“Cameroonians have signed more than 5000 petitions in four days expressing their discontent with the activities of Sudcam and its parent company Corrie Maccoll in the South Province of Cameroon. Instead of addressing the concern of Cameroonians, Corrie Maccoll prefers to engage in a Public Relations stunt as usual which is not what is happening on the ground. This oncemore displays the true character of a company which portrays itself as a world leader in sustainable natural rubber,”Eric Eni said.
All attempts to get Corrie MacColl calrify the recent developments were futile.