UN Human Rights commends CDC for progressive implementation of Social Policy
By Solomon Agborem
The social policy of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) is on a positive path as the management is in the process of progressively implementing policies which are aimed at making working and living conditions favourable for its over 22 000 strong workforce.
Recently, two of the Corporation’s installations were visited by a senior official of the United Nations Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa with offices in Yaounde, accompanied by a battery of Journalists who descended on the CDC Njonji camp project and the Idenau industrial unit to match the social policy of the CDC to reality on the ground.
The visit was on the sidelines of a National Training workshop for media professionals on Human Rights and Business that took place in Limbe.
The National Training workshop that brought together 30 Journalists drawn from the South West, Littoral and North West Regions, focused on the United Nations guiding principles on Human Rights and Business.
Opening the workshop, the first Assistant Senior Divisional Officer for Fako Lokombe Nafongo Vincent stressed on the role of the media which is crucial in the development process by way of informing right holders to reap the fruits of businesses operating within their area.
Corroborating the representative of the Fako S.D.O, Mr Kiven Fonyuy of the UN Human Rights office for Democracy in Central Africa who represented the Director of the Center reminded the media professionals of their responsibilities to educate, sensitize, monitor, documents violations and to inform or denounce when the need arises. He insisted that companies should be held accountable when their activities infringes on Human Rights of vulnerable people. During the workshop, it was established that the state has the duty to protect, the companies to respect engagements, while the victim has the right to remedy.
Visit to CDC installations
The Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) is the second largest employer of labour after the State with a workforce of over 22.000. The visit to two of its installations within Fako Division, South West Region of Cameroon was inspired after the Corporation’s Communication and Public Relations Manager Manyanye Ikome had presented the CDC as a company where activities are component of Corporate Social Responsibility.
At the CDC Njonji Camp, the team was received by a Senior Field Assistant Ayah Romanus who led them in a guided tour of the area where CDC is in the process of constructing over 144 new structures to house its workers. Here, we found out that compared to old camps where there are no kitchens, the new camps are built with external kitchen facilities not attached to living rooms. The toilets facilities have been improved, with the number of toilets per household increased. On the CDC’s health care policy, the company provides 100% medical coverage for both industrial and domestic accidents with housing allowance at 25% of the worker’s salary for those who wish to get accommodation out of the camp settlement. The camp is also electrified with solar installations, a novelty in CDC’s drive to meet up with internationally recognized standards.
Speaking to the foreman in charge of construction Mvondo Andre, at the CDC Njonji camp, he explained that work started in January 2016 for the realization of the second phase of six units of 72 rooms and kitchens managed by 30 workers. The number, he said has 15 permanent workers, while the rest are on contract.” Per day we put in 11 hours due to the urgency of the project including our ”Basket” (referring to food money).
To Nako Charles, a mason who has been in the camp for over eight months, work is going on well but for the wet weather that usually is a challenge for outdoor activities. On safety, he said the management is doing little as workers get their safety equipments themselves. He however expressed joy with employment provided him by the CDC.
Over at the Idenau Industrial Unit which hosts the Oil Mill with over 140 workers, the Administrator Efosi Luma who is a Mechanical Engineer by profession and a Supervisor, revealed that of the 140 workers, 40 are women involved in the department of processing. She said they have a challenge of working with outdated machines in terms of spare parts which are at times hard to find when management needs to replace them. On women who work inside the oil tanks as cleaners, she said they get a tin of milk, soap and soda daily. In line with stepping up security, the installation of CCTV is in the pipeline. The security camera project is already operational at the CDC Head Office building as additional improved quality of service.
Speaking to The Star, the Communication and Public Relations Manager of the CDC Manyanye Ikome said CDC do CSR to give back to the community, nurture positive work environment and for better media coverage.
From the installations visited, the CDC is one Corporation too concern about its role in development and nation building, using limited resources to achieve progressively, standards recognized at different international platforms.
He lauded the efforts of the General Manager Franklin Njie and his formidable team to move the Corporation to greater heights.