Tantoh Nforba (Farmer Tantoh) is creating a new generation of citizen leaders with citizen-led solutions to maintain the integrity of water catchment areas in both rural and urban areas.
The campaign is multi-faceted as the issue is complex.
Here are several aspects of Farmer Tantoh's work that builds on over a decade of his sustained efforts to bring together community and shift attitudes and approaches towards water catchment protection, citizen empowerment and resource access.
1. Increasing access to clean water for poor communities in rural Cameroon as their original water sources were polluted or dried up from lack of watershed management.
2. Motivating youth in Cameroon and across Africa to take action to protect their planet.
3. Fighting for the rights of those living with disabilities so that they can have access to clean water.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
Objectives were achieved through a mix of leveraging local youth volunteers, international volunteers and through work with Farmer Tantoh's ecological landscaping company.
The main innovation in Farmer Tantoh's work is his holistic, integrative approach that engages the community on a variety of levels, working systemically to shift mindsets while producing results in terms of water access and youth empowerment. He is continually innovating, incorporating new technologies and new populations - for example, the disabled community is a recent ally in his work.
Farmer Tantoh has has built 12 spring water catchments in rural communities of the North West region of Cameroon to provide clean water to poor communities.
He has delivered numerous presentations to universities and colleges in Cameroon as a motivational speaker inspiring young people to take action to protect the planet through sharing his own inspiring story as a grassroots social entrepreneur.
Currently Farmer Tantoh also distributes clean every week to 14 blind students living by themselves and going to school in town.
He has also recently been appointed Forest Nation ambassador and has been campaigning for everyone in Cameroon to plant a tree. He is in the process of setting up a nursery of 25000 trees to be planted this year.
In addition to securing stable continuous funds, creating systemic mindset shifts in the community present a big challenge, though it is one Tantoh is not afraid to tackle as he has committed to this work for the long haul.
Partnerships across different constituents are a key for success even if they take more effort to work through. And young people are an incredible engine for change and it is important to set aside time to motivate youth as well as create ways for them to be directly engaged in the ecological work during their formative years so these activities can shape their future behavior and understanding.