Pygmies of East Cameroon
The indigenous inhabitants represent one percent of Cameroon's 19 million people. The Baka people, formerly known as pygmies, are said to number 75,000. They lived in and took care of the forests until 20 years ago when the woodland areas became the target of logging companies. Foreign investors, mostly from Europe and China, now control two thirds of the export market for timber products from Cameroon. Most of the youngsters don’t attend school, they prefer working with their parents or find small jobs so they can have food in return. The Baka way of life is forcibly changing: territory is shrinking for communities as alleged conservation and industrial interests create obstacles for a nomadic existence. Many Baka now live in roadside huts, pushed to the forest's edge and away from what they know. Their forests are exploited for logging and mining and they are not given anything in return: not schooling for their children nor health support. Their life has become frustration and struggles, having to adapt to a lifestyle they do not know and deserve.