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Lake Nyos: Gov’t Steps Up Security Measures

Brenda YUFEH NCHEWNANG-NGASSA | 30-01-2018 00:17

The steering committee of the National Programme of the Lake Nyos Security and Rehabilitation project met last Friday in Yaounde.

Since the Lake Nyos disaster of August 21, 1986, that claimed huge human and animal lives and caused material and environmental damages, the government, with assistance from development partners, notably the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union have not relented efforts on large-scale activities aimed at rehabilitating the affected areas.

In order to properly address and pre-empt a reoccurrence of the disaster, last Friday, January 26, 2018, the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation (MINATD) in charge of Local and Regional Councils, Jules Doret Ndongo, chaired the first session of the second phase of the steering committee of the National Programme for the Safety and Rehabilitation of Lake Nyos.

Underscoring that the activities of the committee over the years have transformed the Lake Nyos situation of great distress to humanitarian actions with outstanding benefits for the concerned population and the environment, Jules Doret Ndongo highlighted some of the efforts carried out by the government and its partners in securing the Lake Nyos zone.

He explained that the degassing process of the lake had led to the extraction of about 90 per cent   of toxic gas from the lake.

Reinforcement works on the natural dyke of the lake has already taken place in a bid to exclude the inherent risk of floods into farm lands. Stakeholders of local institutions have also benefitted from several training sessions on prevention and management of disaster risks linked to gas emissions.

Besides the tarring and rehabilitation of the road linking Nyos village to the lake, victims of the disaster are benefitting from continuous supports (school materials, health kits and agricultural equipments).

However, such achievements have not been without shortcomings particularly collaboration deficiencies or even the unavailability of some actors involved in the implementation process of the programme.

Hence, the meeting was an occasion for the government and its partners to equally address the late and sometimes cumbersome mobilisation of expected resources, to execute the project.

 Stakeholders used the meeting to diligently discuss on how they can work towards achieving projects set out by the government in the lake Nyos zone. This is to ensure that the population will progressively and definitely go back to their ancestral site.

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