Groups train A’Ibom women in snail farming to stop husbands from hunting monkeys

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Emmanuel Ayungbe

UYO- THE  Tropical Research and Conservation Centre, TRCC, and Biodiversity Preservation Center, BPC, have initiated training of women of Mbiakong communities, Urian Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, in large-scale snail farming to discourage their hunter-husbands from killing monkeys to eke out a living.

The project manager of TRCC, Mr Ikponta Nkanta, told NDV that the red-capped mangabey and cercocebus torquatus, rare monkey species found in the Mbiakong Ikpa River Basin, precious for their eco-tourism potentials were in danger.

He said that a local farmer in the community shot dead a  red capped mangabey (cercocebus torquatus)   in community’s River Basin recently, sparking   global concern on the need to provide alternatives to local farmers and hunters.

Global partners,   including Global Environmental Fund (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) decided to collaborate with the management of Biodiversity Preservation Center to train and support women,   who    depended solely in the forest products in traditional snail farming,   as a strategy to reduce commercial harvest of firewood and hunting of monkeys,” he said.

Nkanta disclosed that human activities on the wetlands such as deforestation, hunting, bush burning and slash-and-burn agriculture have adverse effects on the critical habitat.

The groups appealed to the state government to collaborate and assist the international organizations ready to transform the community to a conservation site.

“This collaboration would defiantly improve eco-tourism, especially as the community shares common border with the already existing world -class Le-Meridian and Gulf resort.

“The programme which is expected to be put in place by international agencies would automatically give the community a global village status with the frequent visits of local and international tourists to the conserved area,” he said.

 

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