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Dr. Bailack proposes solutions to land based resource conflicts in record breaking PhD defense

Dr. Bailack Kevin Mbuh

Recent inter-tribal conflicts in the North West Region of Cameroon have been linked to issues of land-based resource management policies. Poor management strategies, noninvolvement of community stakeholders in major decision-making processes as well as administrative laxity and complacency have been identified as some of the major causes of conflicts and environmental hazards in the region. 

Defending a Ph.D. thesis titled "Geographical considerations and management of land-based resources in Bui Division" on Tuesday, August 9, at the University of Bamenda, Bailack Kevin Mbuh, now Dr. Bailack ex rayed the land-based resource management systems in the country while proposing effective conflict management strategies in land-based resource management. He proposes the holistic approach to conflict management, an approach that places the indigenous populations at the center of the exercise. 

To him, conflicts can be greatly reduced when locals take ownership of their land and are effectively educated on sustainable land usage.

"We have had serious land disputes in Bui Division like the Oku Mbessa land crisis that turned into a tribal conflict killing several people and destroying several properties. Such conflicts are not peculiar to Bui Division only. There is the Hausa Aghem crisis in the Menchum division now that has so far caused several deaths. No need to stress that the background of such a conflict is stemming from issues of land-based resource management. We can go on to site Boyo division and Ndu subdivision in Donga Mantung which have all had such crisis" Dr. Bailack told reporters after his defense at the University of Bamenda. 

"We cannot also completely forget about the traditional and cultural setups we already had in place to manage land-based resource usage. We should revisit them and see how to make the most of them. The government needs to empower locals because very often, poverty is the cause of conflict. The community must not continue to feel sidelined." He added. 

Dr. Bailack Kevin Mbuh

It is worth noting that Bailack Kevin Mbuh is one of the few Ph.D. candidates to defend his thesis in only three years, a situation that is not very common in universities in the country as many persons do it in four or five years. Reacting to this, Dr. Bailack said, "It feels very fulfilling to be able to defend my Ph.D. in only three years. This is testimony to the fact that the University of Bamenda rewards hard work." He was the only candidate among five candidates in the department of Geography and planning to defend his thesis within such a short period. He was awarded the grade excellent. 

Dr. Bailack is set to create an impact in the community by engaging in policy advocacy and imparting knowledge to bring about effective development in the field of land-based resource management.

His panel was made up of Prof. Tsi Evaristus Angwafor as the chairman, Prof Mbanga Lawrence A. as rapporteur, and members; Prof Kah Elvis Fang, Prof Forgwe Zephania Nji, and Prof Cheo Victor who represented Prof Kometa Sunday Shende.

By Sah Terence Animbom.

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