MEIGANGA, CAMEROON – Villagers near Meiganga, a town in northern Cameroon, are protesting against Chinese gold miners for allegedly ruining their land. The villagers say they are poorer than before the Chinese arrived, with their farms and forests now destroyed.
Area cattle ranchers and farmers say that if nothing is done to save them from Chinese miners, famine may strike their locality soon.
Their spokesman, rancher Mamoudu Poro, 54, says the miners destroy farms and do not bother to cover holes and trenches they dig on roads and ranches before leaving. He says they want the Chinese to build the roads they destroyed and fill the trenches they dug, give them electricity and at least a school and a market before leaving.
Until 2014, Meiganga and surrounding villages cultivated maize, beans and groundnuts and produced cattle for markets in Cameroon, Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
Then, 300 new mining sites producing gold, zinc, nickel and other materials were discovered in the region. Among the explorers were Chinese companies.
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