The night Boko Haram attacked Halima’s village, her husband disappeared in the chaos and she had to flee alone with her four young children. Five years have passed and she has still not heard from him. She fears he was killed that night. 

Halima, 32, is not the only one that has been forced to flee her home because of attacks from armed groups in the border areas between Cameroon and Nigeria. The Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria has led to significant protracted displacements in Cameroon’s Far North region, ranking Cameroon as the second most affected country (after Nigeria) in the Lake Chad Basin region. 64% of all humanitarian needs in the country, affecting approximately 2.1 million people, are concentrated in the Far North region. This includes 227,581 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 92,238 returnees (former IDPs), 96,727 Nigerian refugees, 406,700 host community members and more than one million other vulnerable people (Humanitarian Response Plan - HRP 2018). As more and more attacks are now also happening inside of Cameroon, it is leading to more insecurity and secondary displacements. For aid agencies, access is also increasingly difficult. 

“After I fled my home, we stayed in Kourgui for two months hoping that life would be better there, but it was not easy at all, so I decided to come here to Mora".

Mora is a little bit further from the border and feels a bit safer. Halima now rents a small house in a compound with another family, trying to make a new life after having lost all she once owned. Back home she had a sewing machine that gave her a steady income. Without her machine or her husband’s help, she has struggled to make ends meet. Now, with the support from NRC, her situation has turned for the better.

Halima is part of a group of women that are selected for a fish farming project that NRC supports as part of our Food Security activities. A local entrepeneur, Boucar Adji, had set up a fish farming cooperative and NRC decided to provide financial support to this great initiative. The entrepreneur used the funds to expand the fish activities and intentionally hired displaced women to work with him at the cooperative.  The women receive 15,000 francs every month from the cooperative for the work they do on the fish farm. Every morning for the past three months, Halima and the other members of the association meet to feed the fish and clean the premises.

In addition, NRC has provided financial assistance directly to the women to help them start up a small business. With the first of three cash instalments, Halima chose to buy peanuts that she now roasts and sells. The income from this and the work at the fish farm has made it possible for her to pay the school fee for two of her four children. It also generates a welcome addition of fish into their diet. 

"If today my small family manages to eat fresh fish, it is thanks to the fish farming done by the association," Halima ends.  

Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC
Kamerun

Der Welleneffekt: Wie Fischzucht Leben verändert

„Alles, was ich früher nicht haben konnte, habe ich jetzt“, sagt die 32-jährige Halima. Dies ist die Geschichte, wie der Heureka-Moment eines Unternehmers die vertriebenen Frauen in der Region Far North in Kamerun stärkt. Und davon profitiert die ganze Gemeinde.

Es ist Mittag in Mora und die Sonne brennt erbarmungslos auf die staubigen Straßen herunter. Halima sitzt in Schatten eines Baums auf dem Gelände vor ihrem Haus. Sie schaut auf einen großen Korb mit Erdnüssen herunter, lässt sie durch ihre Finger gleiten, greift sich dann mit einer geübten Bewegung eine Handvoll, schält sie und wirft sie in einen anderen Korb.

The night Boko Haram attacked Halima’s village, her husband disappeared in the chaos and she had to flee alone with her four young children. Five years have passed and she has still not heard from him. She fears he was killed that night. 

Halima, 32, is not the only one that has been forced to flee her home because of attacks from armed groups in the border areas between Cameroon and Nigeria. The Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria has led to significant protracted displacements in Cameroon’s Far North region, ranking Cameroon as the second most affected country (after Nigeria) in the Lake Chad Basin region. 64% of all humanitarian needs in the country, affecting approximately 2.1 million people, are concentrated in the Far North region. This includes 227,581 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 92,238 returnees (former IDPs), 96,727 Nigerian refugees, 406,700 host community members and more than one million other vulnerable people (Humanitarian Response Plan - HRP 2018). As more and more attacks are now also happening inside of Cameroon, it is leading to more insecurity and secondary displacements. For aid agencies, access is also increasingly difficult. 

“After I fled my home, we stayed in Kourgui for two months hoping that life would be better there, but it was not easy at all, so I decided to come here to Mora".

Mora is a little bit further from the border and feels a bit safer. Halima now rents a small house in a compound with another family, trying to make a new life after having lost all she once owned. Back home she had a sewing machine that gave her a steady income. Without her machine or her husband’s help, she has struggled to make ends meet. Now, with the support from NRC, her situation has turned for the better.

Halima is part of a group of women that are selected for a fish farming project that NRC supports as part of our Food Security activities. A local entrepeneur, Boucar Adji, had set up a fish farming cooperative and NRC decided to provide financial support to this great initiative. The entrepreneur used the funds to expand the fish activities and intentionally hired displaced women to work with him at the cooperative.  The women receive 15,000 francs every month from the cooperative for the work they do on the fish farm. Every morning for the past three months, Halima and the other members of the association meet to feed the fish and clean the premises.

In addition, NRC has provided financial assistance directly to the women to help them start up a small business. With the first of three cash instalments, Halima chose to buy peanuts that she now roasts and sells. The income from this and the work at the fish farm has made it possible for her to pay the school fee for two of her four children. It also generates a welcome addition of fish into their diet. 

"If today my small family manages to eat fresh fish, it is thanks to the fish farming done by the association," Halima ends.  

Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC
Lesen Beschriftung Halima verkauft Erdnüsse und hat dadurch zwei Einkommensquellen. Foto: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC

„Ich bin wirklich sehr froh“, sagt sie und lächelt schüchtern. „Alles, was ich früher nicht haben konnte, habe ich jetzt.“

Bis vor Kurzem sah Halimas Leben noch ganz anders aus. Vor fünf Jahren zwangen bewaffnete Angriffe und Explosionen sie und ihre vier Kinder zur Flucht aus ihrer Heimatstadt Amchide. Ihr Ehemann ging in diesem Chaos verloren. Fünf Jahre sind vergangen und sie hat noch immer nichts von ihm gehört. Sie befürchtet, dass er in dieser Nacht getötet wurde.

Sie floh nach Mora, eine nur 27 km entfernte Stadt, aber weit genug im Süden, um vor der permanenten Bedrohung durch die Gewalt sicher zu sein. In Amchide hatte Halima als Näherin gearbeitet, aber ihre Nähmaschine musste sie bei ihrer Flucht zurücklassen. Als sie in Mora ankam, hatte sie keine Ersparnisse, nichts, um ihre Kinder zu ernähren. Sie kam nur durch die Lebensmittelverteilungen von humanitären Organisationen über die Runden. Es war für sie und ihre Kinder eine harte Zeit.

Glücklicherweise sollte sich das Blatt für Halima bald wenden. Und das hatte etwas mit Fisch zu tun.

The night Boko Haram attacked Halima’s village, her husband disappeared in the chaos and she had to flee alone with her four young children. Five years have passed and she has still not heard from him. She fears he was killed that night. 

Halima, 32, is not the only one that has been forced to flee her home because of attacks from armed groups in the border areas between Cameroon and Nigeria. The Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria has led to significant protracted displacements in Cameroon’s Far North region, ranking Cameroon as the second most affected country (after Nigeria) in the Lake Chad Basin region. 64% of all humanitarian needs in the country, affecting approximately 2.1 million people, are concentrated in the Far North region. This includes 227,581 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 92,238 returnees (former IDPs), 96,727 Nigerian refugees, 406,700 host community members and more than one million other vulnerable people (Humanitarian Response Plan - HRP 2018). As more and more attacks are now also happening inside of Cameroon, it is leading to more insecurity and secondary displacements. For aid agencies, access is also increasingly difficult. 

“After I fled my home, we stayed in Kourgui for two months hoping that life would be better there, but it was not easy at all, so I decided to come here to Mora".

Mora is a little bit further from the border and feels a bit safer. Halima now rents a small house in a compound with another family, trying to make a new life after having lost all she once owned. Back home she had a sewing machine that gave her a steady income. Without her machine or her husband’s help, she has struggled to make ends meet. Now, with the support from NRC, her situation has turned for the better.

Halima is part of a group of women that are selected for a fish farming project that NRC supports as part of our Food Security activities. A local entrepeneur, Boucar Adji, had set up a fish farming cooperative and NRC decided to provide financial support to this great initiative. The entrepreneur used the funds to expand the fish activities and intentionally hired displaced women to work with him at the cooperative.  The women receive 15,000 francs every month from the cooperative for the work they do on the fish farm. Every morning for the past three months, Halima and the other members of the association meet to feed the fish and clean the premises.

In addition, NRC has provided financial assistance directly to the women to help them start up a small business. With the first of three cash instalments, Halima chose to buy peanuts that she now roasts and sells. The income from this and the work at the fish farm has made it possible for her to pay the school fee for two of her four children. It also generates a welcome addition of fish into their diet. 

"If today my small family manages to eat fresh fish, it is thanks to the fish farming done by the association," Halima ends.  

Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC
Lesen Beschriftung Mit ihren zwei Einkommensquellen kann Halima nun ihre Familie ernähren und die Bedürfnisse ihrer Kinder erfüllen. Foto: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC

Heureka-Moment

Das Klima in der kamerunischen Region Far North ist im Gegensatz zu den üppigen, grünen Landschaften in vielen anderen Teilen des Landes sehr trocken. Das macht es in Städten wie Mora eher schwierig, frischen Fisch zu bekommen. Da das nächstgelegene Gewässer, der Maga-See, 140 km entfernt ist, müssen Fischhändler weit fahren, um auf den Wochenmärkten in Mora Fisch verkaufen zu können. Die Transportkosten zwingen die Verkäufer außerdem, den Fisch zu erhöhten Preisen zu verkaufen. Zudem ist der Fisch zum Zeitpunkt seiner Ankunft auf den Märkten auch nicht mehr wirklich frisch.

In the far north province of Cameroon, on the road between Maroua and Mora, we drive past many dry riverbeds. It is the end of the rainy season, but already the water is scarce.

Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC
Lesen Beschriftung Ein ausgetrocknetes Flussbett in der kamerunischen Region Far North. Die Regenzeit geht gerade zu Ende, aber das Wasser wird bereits knapp. Foto: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC

In diesem Zusammenhang hatte der aus Mora stammende Boucar Adji seinen Heureka-Moment. Adji wollte ein Unternehmen gründen, um den Bedarf an frischem Fisch in Mora zu decken und gleichzeitig seiner Gemeinde zu mehr Wohlstand zu verhelfen.

Boucar Adji, in front of the fish ponds.

Cameroon’s Far North Region has a dry and arid climate in contrast to the lush, green landscapes of many other parts of the country. This makes finding fresh fish in towns like Mora quite a challenge. With the nearest body of water, Lake Maga, 140 Km away from Mora, fish sellers are forced to make the long journey there and back to sell fish in Mora’s weekly markets. However, these transportation costs would force sellers to raise the price of fish to exorbitant amounts and by the time they arrived in Mora’s markets, they would no longer be fresh.

It was in this context that Boucar Adji, a native of Mora, had his eureka moment. Adji was an entrepreneur willing to start a business that would meet this demand for fresh fish in Mora, while also helping out his community. As Mora had become a host to thousands of displaced people from violence-hit parts of Cameroon, he wanted his business to primarily employ Mora’s newly arrived displaced people. His idea was to construct a small fishpond in Mora and raise fish there till the point where they were big enough to sell. He founded the Mora Fish Farming Association and accomplished exactly what he set out to do. Starting with one pond, he began to raise catfish within it and successfully sold these fish at a reasonable price in the markets in Mora. 

As part of NRC’s efforts to improve the food security of displaced people in Cameroon, we provide financial support to local businesses, associations and cooperatives already engaged in efforts to accomplish this. When our teams in Mora came across the association that Boucar Adji had founded, we were excited to partner with him. As Leila Hommal, Food Security and Livelihoods Assistant for NRC Cameroon says, ‘we knew that if we provided support to this association’s fish farming activities, the whole community would benefit. [Adji] was not simply waiting for different NGOs to come to the aid of his community. He already had a clear idea of how his association would help his own community. And so we wanted to provide support to this association.’ With the financial support that he received, Adji was able to expand his business. He built a second pond and hired assistants to help him clean the ponds and feed the fish. Halima and and Gona are two of these women. 


Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC
Text: Itunu Kuku
Lesen Beschriftung Unternehmer Boucar Adji auf der Fischfarm, die er gegründet hat, um seine Gemeinde mit Fisch und vertriebene Frauen mit einer Einkommensquelle zu versorgen. Foto: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC

Welszucht

Seine Idee bestand darin, in Mora einen kleinen Fischteich zu bauen und darin Fische zu züchten, bis sie groß genug für den Verkauf waren. Zu diesem Zweck gründete er die Mora Fischzucht-Gesellschaft. Er baute zunächst einen Teich und begann, Welse zu züchten. Diese wurden dann zu angemessenen Preisen auf den Märkten in Mora verkauft.

Da Mora die Heimat von Tausenden Vertriebenen aus den konfliktbetroffenen Teilen Kameruns geworden war, wollte er vorrangig neu in Mora angekommene Vertriebene einstellen.

Erweiterung des Betriebs

Als das Team von NRC Flüchtlingshilfe in Mora auf das von Boucar Adji gegründete Unternehmen aufmerksam wurde, freuten wir uns, mit ihm zusammenarbeiten zu können. Leila Hommal, Expertin für Ernährungssicherheit und Lebensgrundlagen für NRC Flüchtlingshilfe Kamerun, sagt: „Wir wussten, wenn wir die Fischzucht hier unterstützen würden, würde de ganze Gemeinde davon profitieren. [Adji] wartete nicht einfach darauf, dass verschiedene NGOs kommen und seine Gemeinde unterstützen würden. Er hatte bereits eine klare Vorstellung davon, wie seine Gesellschaft seiner Gemeinde helfen würde.“

Mit der finanziellen Unterstützung von NRC Flüchtlingshilfe konnte Adji seinen Betrieb erweitern. Er baute einen zweiten Teich und stellte Helferinnen ein, die ihn bei der Reinigung der Teiche und dem Füttern der Fische unterstützten. Alle seine Helferinnen sind vertriebene Frauen. Eine von ihnen ist Halima.

„Als die Fischzucht-Gesellschaft auf mich zukam und mich bat, an ihren Aktivitäten teilzunehmen, stimmte ich zu“, sagt Halima. „Meine Aufgabe ist es, zusammen mit den anderen Mitgliedern der Gesellschaft die Teiche zu reinigen und die Fische zu füttern.“

Da sie ihre Nähmaschine bei der Flucht nicht hatte mitnehmen können und keine andere Möglichkeit hatte, ihre Familie zu ernähren, war Halima dankbar für diese Chance. Für ihre Arbeit auf der Fischfarm bekommt sie ein Gehalt. Darüber hinaus erhalten alle Mitglieder der Gesellschaft auch welche von den gezüchteten Fischen, die sie mit nach Hause nehmen können. Daher können Halima und ihre Familie nun regelmäßig frischen Fisch essen.

Halima is helped by Gona and her family to prepare the nuts for sale. 

The night Boko Haram attacked Halima’s village, her husband disappeared in the chaos and she had to flee alone with her four young children. Five years have passed and she has still not heard from him. She fears he was killed that night. 

Halima, 32, is not the only one that has been forced to flee her home because of attacks from armed groups in the border areas between Cameroon and Nigeria. The Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria has led to significant protracted displacements in Cameroon’s Far North region, ranking Cameroon as the second most affected country (after Nigeria) in the Lake Chad Basin region. 64% of all humanitarian needs in the country, affecting approximately 2.1 million people, are concentrated in the Far North region. This includes 227,581 internally displaced persons (IDPs), 92,238 returnees (former IDPs), 96,727 Nigerian refugees, 406,700 host community members and more than one million other vulnerable people (Humanitarian Response Plan - HRP 2018). As more and more attacks are now also happening inside of Cameroon, it is leading to more insecurity and secondary displacements. For aid agencies, access is also increasingly difficult. 

“After I fled my home, we stayed in Kourgui for two months hoping that life would be better there, but it was not easy at all, so I decided to come here to Mora".

Mora is a little bit further from the border and feels a bit safer. Halima now rents a small house in a compound with another family, trying to make a new life after having lost all she once owned. Back home she had a sewing machine that gave her a steady income. Without her machine or her husband’s help, she has struggled to make ends meet. Now, with the support from NRC, her situation has turned for the better.

Halima is part of a group of women that are selected for a fish farming project that NRC supports as part of our Food Security activities. A local entrepeneur, Boucar Adji, had set up a fish farming cooperative and NRC decided to provide financial support to this great initiative. The entrepreneur used the funds to expand the fish activities and intentionally hired displaced women to work with him at the cooperative.  The women receive 15,000 francs every month from the cooperative for the work they do on the fish farm. Every morning for the past three months, Halima and the other members of the association meet to feed the fish and clean the premises.

In addition, NRC has provided financial assistance directly to the women to help them start up a small business. With the first of three cash instalments, Halima chose to buy peanuts that she now roasts and sells. The income from this and the work at the fish farm has made it possible for her to pay the school fee for two of her four children. It also generates a welcome addition of fish into their diet. 

"If today my small family manages to eat fresh fish, it is thanks to the fish farming done by the association," Halima ends.  

Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC
Lesen Beschriftung Halima sortiert mit anderen Mitgliedern der Fischzucht-Gesellschaft Erdnüsse als zusätzliche Einkommensquelle. Foto: Ingebjørg Kårstad/NRC

Zwei Einkommensquellen

Neben der finanziellen Unterstützung der Gesellschaft bekommen einige der am stärksten gefährdeten Vertriebenen in Mora von unserem Team ebenfalls finanzielle Hilfe. Halima profitierte von diesem Bargeldtransfer und konnte das Geld dafür verwenden, Hirse und Erdnüsse zu kaufen, die sie weiterverkauft.

„Durch Gottes Gnade habe ich nun zwei Einkommensquellen – die Fischzucht und den Verkauf von Erdnüssen“, erklärt sie. „Und damit kann ich nun meine Familie ernähren und die Bedürfnisse meiner Kinder erfüllen.“

Halima ist stolz auf das, was sie erreicht hat. Sie sagt, ihre tägliche Arbeit auf der Fischfarm und die Stabilität, die sie dadurch gewonnen hat, haben sie das Elend vergessen lassen, das sie durchmachen musste.

Nachhaltige Unterstützung
Unsere Maßnahmen im Bereich Ernährungssicherheit und Lebensunterhalt in Kamerun umfassen auch die Unterstützung von weiteren ähnlichen Gesellschaften in anderen Bereichen. Wir unterstützen zum Beispiel Gruppen, die Viehzucht betreiben oder Düngemittel lagern und verkaufen. Wir glauben, dass diese Art zu arbeiten nicht nur effizient, sondern auch nachhaltig ist, da die Gruppen, die wir vor Ort unterstützen, auch ohne uns noch lange weiter bestehen werden.

Lesen Sie mehr über unsere Arbeit in Kamerun.