Indiscriminate disposal and homes constructed on gutters are yet to attract the attention of authorities.
Over the past years, one of the main gutters around Chefferie Bonapriso has played the role of a melting pot for waste and flood waters from parts of Ngangue and Bonapriso. Grappling with the double problem is a daily experience to the inhabitants of this area of the Douala II Council.
At the point of convergence of Ngangue and Bonapriso, which used to be referred to as ‘Rich Man’s Quarter,’ is all sort of organic, chemical and industrial waste that can only be compared to the city’s only dumping site in Nyalla. With many homes, some constructed across gutters and others bordering them, the sight is a clear picture of indiscriminate disposal of waste and application of building regulations. Inhabitants testify to the dread of floods which poses damage to properties, but hardly think diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and malaria may be attributed to the dirty gutters.
From every indication, the Council’s Most Clean Neighbourhood Competition that has been going on for some years today to spur the observation of hygiene and sanitation, the area of Ngangue and Bonapriso appears indifferent to a practice that would have rid it of plastic and kitchen waste and make living better.
As to who is responsible, CT met some inhabitants who quickly pointed accusing fingers to other inhabitants but never including themselves. Some blamed the council for negligence, instead of seeking solution to their own problem. For example, at the Essengue neighbourhood in the Douala I Council area, inhabitants have mobilised support from companies, organisations and goodwill individuals and have turned their environment into a safe and beautiful place. With the coordination of their quarter heads they have set aside a day for clean up, during which defaulters are fined.