Develop a herbarium containing all the medicinal plants commonly used in the local community of Oku and create a database for their identification
Oku is a rich biodiversity hotspot. It is home to the remaining patch of the last surviving montane forests of West Africa known as the Kilum Mountain forest and an important Lake and Plantlife Sanctuary (Lake Oku and the Kilum-Ijim Plantlife Sanctuary-KIPLS). The growing population and other development initiatives are mounting lots of pressure on the environmental resources. In order to develop tourism infrastructure in Oku there has been the development of infrastructure around Lake Oku and the KIPLS. These include a staircase down the Lake and series of guest houses within the KIPLS. There has been a resultant degradation of the surrounding environment. Human activities are causing gradual disappearance of some rare plants for the forest and the sanctuary.
Our volunteer program will engage the volunteers through a rare plants conservation action. This will be realized through the development of a community herbarium, a sort of botanical garden containing all the rare plants in the community. The project will also involve the development of an online and offline database to conserve and share information about the plants. Such information include their local and scientific names, natural habitat and altitude where they grow, the biophysical conditions of growth, the pharmacological potentials,. their local uses and all relevant information for conservation and research.
The daily activities of the volunteer will include educative and planning meetings with community members, field research with community members especially traditional medicine practitioners to identify key plants, seeds collection in the wild, environmental education in schools and the community radio, plant nursery development, nursery management, and environmental restoration, and subsequent development of a garden of rare medicinal plants, plant photography and database development using photographs.
Volunteers will have a rich experience made up of Biodiversity with hiking and trekking up the second highest peak in West Africa. They will the richest Montane forest in West Africa. Another experience is an encounter with the most fascinating and mythological Lake in West Africa as well as an experience of the healing powers of plants in a community so tied to their culture and traditional healing practice. You will have a taste of the certified geographical indication product Oku White Honey.In summary, you will meet Mount Oku (Kilum Mountain), Kilum Mountain Forest, Lake Oku, Oku Cultural Festivals etc
These activities will help improve your social integration in the community. It will also help you discover the touristic potentials of the community.
When your flight arrives in Douala or Yaounde Airport, you will have to show your yellow fever certificate and get your passport stamped before collecting your luggage. Our staff will meet you either in Baggage Claim or outside Customs and take you to the where you will spend the night if it becomes necessary. Depending on when your flight arrives, you could go out for dinner and learn more about SOPISDEW and Cameroon. Travel to project site involves a 10 hours journey.
Volunteer house is in a secure area 15 minute walk from the center of the township of Oku. The facilities contain 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms, a kitchen and living area. There is electricity and running water, but not hot water, though hot water can be provided. Oku occasionally suffers from power cuts. Power supply may interrupt but we provide another alternative such as solar lamps. You can chose to live on your own or with neighbors as we equally have facilities for families.
breakfast, lunch and supper, soft drinks, vegetarian food, organic food