Permaculture Fish Farm

Preserving Natural Resources



Southern Cameroon is rich in the natural resources needed by its people, such as fish and fruit trees.  Unfortunately, inappropriate resource management has emptied many streams of aquatic life.
The goal of the Permaculture Fish Farm is to protect and preserve the native fish found in the region.  By establishing a lake where villagers can care for and harvest fish, the project enables them to follow effective environmental practices that ensure food security for generations to come.
Didier Essama designed the project.  He holds a diploma in Permaculture and has applied principles from his field to the lake. The first harvest took place in November 2009





Based on observations from the project’s beginnings, a number of changes are needed to maximize the project’s potential.
These are some of the most crucial improvements planned for implementation when the necessary financial resources are found.

  • Buying and adding fish to the lake: $1500
  • Reinforce and widen the dikes, deepen and clean the lake: $600
  • Make a fence around the lake to prevent intrusion and poaching: $400
  • Make an effective sluice gate: $300
  • Make a shelter near the lake: $200
  • Regulating the stream that feeds the lake
    so that the lake can be appropriate drained when needed: $150
  •  Purchase of drainage pipes: $40
  • Feeding and caring for the fish: $50/month
  • Employ guards during the day and night: $50/month
  • The maintenance of the project: $10/month
  • Eliminate the practice of fishing with ngom
    through education and promoting effective traditional fishing methods
  • Planting trees and shrubs in the area surrounding the lake to help with
    erosion control, climate control and wildlife habitat establishmen



The Lake

The man-made lake is located at Mva’amedjap-Fong, a village about 22 kilometers from the town of Ngoulémakong in southern Cameroon.  Young people in the village participated in the construction of the lakebed. Native plant species at the edge of the lake prevent erosion.
The lake measures 4000 sq. meters.  It is home to a diverse mix of fish, such as tilapia, kanga, viperfish, carp, and silures.  All species in the lake are native to southern Cameroon.
A mangrove stream feeds the lake year-round.  The project is only a five-minute walk from the village.




The Danger of Fishing with Ngom

Ngom trees are common near Mva’amedjap-Fong.  When ground, the leaves become a poison for use in fishing.  After throwing the ngom into running water, the fisher only has to collect the fish downstream.
The danger of this fishing method is that is destroys all aquatic life, including some species of fish that were the pride of the village.
Educating local people about the problems of using ngom and alternative fishing methods could reduce its use.


NGOM tree

Principles of Permaculture

The fish farm at Mva’amedjap-Fong is based on solid permaculture principles.

  1. Care for people.
  2. Care for the earth.
  3. Share surpluses.

We apply these principles by breeding, protecting, and preserving native species so that the people of the village can eat nutritiously and earn sustainable income.



Sustainable nutrition and economic activity in southern Cameroon


Project description