CAMEROON: Concern over lack of flood prevention

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CAMEROUN : la non-prévention des inondations inquiète©Big Red Design Agency/Shutterstock

Heavy rains have caused flooding and mudslides in Buea in the South-West region, leaving two people dead, many injured and much material damage. After this nth disaster, Greenpeace calls on the Cameroonian government to be more proactive.

The weekend of 18 to 19 March 2023 was a trying one for the inhabitants of the city of Buea in Cameroon. The return of the rains brought with it flooding including mudslides in the city. Two people were killed and injured in the floods and several people are still missing. In total, almost 300 people living at the foot of Mount Cameroon were affected by the incident.

“The issue of climate change and extreme weather events is a reality and adaptation measures must be proactively put in place by the government at the risk of having to deal with the same damage after the disasters have occurred. This toll recorded in Buea is frightening when we know that we are only in the first weeks after the return of the rains,” said Ranece Jovial Ndjeudja, Greenpeace Africa’s forest campaigner for the Congo Basin.

Read also-CAMEROON: Flash floods kill several people in the city of Buea

A prefectoral note made public after these incidents announced that the victims would be registered, certainly for treatment. Information was also published on the humanitarian measures implemented to help the victims of the floods. “The reaction of the authorities and the relief efforts, if fully effective, are to be welcomed and encouraged. However, the state must work upstream to avoid or at least reduce such incidents. The actions implemented after these events, although comforting, cannot unfortunately bring back to life people who have died. The establishment and popularisation of warning systems, better use of the information contained in the regularly published weather bulletins as well as the implementation of adaptation and prevention measures for risks and disasters contained in Cameroon’s convergence plan would greatly mitigate these negative impacts,” adds Ranece Jovial.

On the evening of 21 March 2023, the city of Yaoundé also experienced severe flooding after heavy rain fell on the capital city. In 2022, 40,000 people were displaced in the far north of Cameroon due to flooding. Several cases of flooding were also observed in several other cities and towns in Cameroon.

Boris Ngounou

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