Pig Rearing Project for Widows in Cameroon

by Nkong Hill Top Common Interest Group

The start of the raining season reminds all pig farmers to watch out. This is due to the prevalence of swine erysipelas; this disease is the greatest threat to them. This is not the case with Cameroon Widows Pig Project (CWPP) because vaccination campaigns were organized to prevent the disease. So far, Nkong Hill Top and their partners have vaccinated a total of 78 pigs belonging to 25 widows who have benefited from piggery project. With the number of pigs kept by the widows increasing with time, any outbreak will have a great impact on their income and well being.

In light of this concern, we had to intensify health check of the animals. There was great excitement among the widows for this exercise; particularly among those of Ikata, who have suffered from the outbreak some time ago. Thanks to the present of the project in certain areas, some community members organized themselves to benefit from the vaccination campaigns in Ikata, Tole and Owe.

Moreover, the theft of pigs has been another big blow to the women in Tole; these widows are gradually recovering. The report of the theft left Mrs. Angeh and Mrs. Bih helpless. The culprits were arrested by the police, though they were released on bail, they were exiled from the community; no community member is allowed to do future business with them. It is a sigh of relief, especially now that the price of pigs in the market has increased. Many of the widows are reporting the ability solve the family problems with proceeds from their pig farm.

We are happy to announce the extension our activities to other disadvantaged areas, who have been crying for the project, thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Cameroon (FOC). Through a three way partnership with a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Friends of Cameroon has donated Nkong HillTop $1000 USD to complete the remaining project amount solicited through the Global giving platform.

We shall report those who have benefited in this last phase in our next report. This will take the number of widows supported by funds from Global giving platform to 12; instead of the original 7 widows that were earmarked. We, therefore, wish to extend our great and humble thanks to all who have contributed to support the Cameroonian widow. The Cameroon Widows Pig Project (CWPP) is truly humbled by the generosity extended to us from our friend around the world.

The start of Cameroon’s dry season has brought sustainability to several widows in need of assistance. Many beneficiaries of the Cameroon Widows Pig Project are still keeping pigs today. Two and a half years after our organizational support to them has ended, their alternative source of income is flourishing. Despite the heartbreaking incident when the first group of beneficiaries in Ikata, Cameroon lost all their pigs; the project is really a great success. The earlier setback required us to restock participants’ farms during the project’s initiation. Nonetheless, such great losses were not noticed in Owe, Cameroon, another project location, where the last stocking was completed.

The restocking event was received with open arms and happy hearts. Many widows are maintaining their clientele and selling for record high prices. Several of the widows are thriving, with the exception of two widows during the recent holidays. Mrs. Angeh and Mrs. Bih, whom reside in Tole, reported the theft of four piglets two days following Christmas. These thefts came as a major surprise and a setback to our restocking efforts.

Though there are constant threats of theft in all our project sites; we delighted to report only two stolen pigs last December. Given the incident of the theft, the widows’ pen are not remaining empty due to their usage of the replacement stock. Unfortunately, we regret the lost of their parent stock.

This project is really a great success, which results in continued appeals for the extensions of the project into other areas.  Regrettably, our resources are insufficient at this time. Since last September, additional women have not benefitted. With the hope of future donations, we have short listed other widows in need. Currently, we appeal for your future generous donations. These will enable us to empower and finance future widows.

Currently, Cameroon’s raining season is coming to a slow end and widow’s are resuming restocking efforts for their farms. On August 1st, the current two women (widows) who lost their pigs were given one new piglets and a bag of 50 kg feed. The resources were distributed to the widows after an agreement for extra support in terms of extra medical observations. Subsequently, the next feed of 75 kg was provided on the 1st of September.

On Saturday, September 6th, fifteen windows were sampled and a voluntarily index questionnaire answered to score them on their vulnerabilities and hardships. The windows are preparing their local material for the piglets’ pen construction.

On the other hand, two beneficiaries in Ikata have sold their pigs and restock while the other two are encourage by the price their friends have sold theirs to keep a little longer to make more money in December. With the disease period over, there is no serious treat on the pigs within this one month period apart from thieves.

When this project began, we believe that we shall find the need in a community to assist some widows to start an income generating activity (IGA) that will help alleviate poverty. Instead the communities are now demanding for the project. We have many widows waiting but means really limited. It is for this reason that we are appealing for local support to enable us assist these widows. 

The widows along with Nkong Hilltop would love to express their deepest thanks for each person that has and will donate to the Cameroon Widows’ Pig Project. The communities are excited about the future of this project and investment in their lives. The donations received through Global Giving are helping to change the lives of widows and ensure the sustainability of the Cameroon Widows’ Pig Project.

Our recipients continue to knock our door for vaccinations and treatments. This project has assured us of the vast impact on their lives of our widows. The project has increased their self-esteem, provides security to them and their household; because the pigs behind their houses can be sold in case of any eventuality. Even some of them have developed strong fillings for their pig; the thought of selling the pig for meat is dreadful to them. Taking into consideration this sentiment, animal hygiene has been greatly improved with a spill over effect within the community. It is noticed, in some of the areas, that the project has encouraged more and more people to build pig pens for their pigs; thereby curbing illnesses that would and has killed many of the pigs.

Our optimism and interest drives us to continue selecting widows to benefit from the scheme in spite of our little resources to meet their demand. Our evaluation indicates that it is expensive to construct one pen after the other. In light of this adjustment, we have settled down with the option to construct at least three pens at a time for our next round of beneficiaries. However we have not started any construction because we want to allow the disease period to draw to a close.

It is great to belong to a family, a warmth relationship created by God in recognition of the inability of human self sufficiency. The abundance of one man somewhere is a scare resource in another place and people there are in dire need of. Nkong Hill Top and their widows shall always be indebted to GlobalGiving for mobilizing the widow’s capacity around the world to reach our widows in the most special of ways. We thank you for putting a simile on another’s person face far from you and your generous donations to savage poverty in our milieu.

A  beneficiary
A beneficiary's happy piglet

The start of the new year has ushered in a breath of fresh air and enriched confidence for the beneficiaries of the Cameroonian Widow Pig Project. There is an 80% percentage restocking effort surfacing from the second group of beneficiaries. The women have high spirits and hope for a fruitful future. Several widows are receiving outstanding profits, ranging from 150,000 to 240,000 francs as income, from their pig rearing efforts. Beneficiaries have been empowered socially and most importantly financially. Our recipients, for the first time in their lives, are capable of earning income and using their hard earned money to pay children’s school fees. Others can now afford housing repairs, medications to improve personal health, farming fungicides/pesticides and more piglets for future growth.

In light of their abundant success, widows are also ensuring the good condition of existing piglet pens. We continue to have an overflow of calls from other quarters, even as far off as the North West Region, for the project’s accessibility to other widows throughout Cameroon; but we have very limited resources. Through your noble global giving donations, we will have an opportunity to reach these women. 

In spite of this, on Wednesday, January 30th, a field team visited a current beneficiary who is unable to continue with the project due to unforeseen financial issues surrounding her housing and children‘s health. It is our wish to use the Global giving funds to support this woman’s restarting efforts for pig farming; while sourcing for other funds to help her refurbish her house.

Taking into account the above mention lapse, it is important to note that four of the five widows selected from the last survey are currently restocking and devoted to pig rearing. Ultimately, our organization  together with the widows of Cameroon are truly appreciative for your efforts and monetary support that empower w omen with pigs rearing activities as an income generation activity.

Thanks Aldous Lekeanyi and Erica Johnson


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Organization Information

Nkong Hill Top Common Interest Group

Location: Buea, SW - Cameroon
Website: http:/​/​www.nkonghilltop.org
Nkong Hill Top Common Interest Group
Project Leader:
Aldous Lekeanyi
Vet Tech, Agric Tech, Volunteer Cooridinator
Buea, SouthWest Cameroon

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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