By Ndefru Melanie in Bamenda
Moving across the city of Bamenda, one will be able to perceive the stench in the air, oozing from heaps of dirt piled up at major junctions and streets of the town. The situation is being described as nauseating by helpless city dwellers.
Reason – separatists’ fighters continue to scare anyone who attempts to clean the city.
The huge dump sites are not just posing a threat to health to the local population in Bamenda, but also heighten food insecurity. Those living and selling around the heaps of dirt have begged endlessly about the council coming to their rescue, all to no avail
The vehicles and workers of the health and sanitation company of Cameroon better known by its French acronym as HYSACAM contracted by the Bamenda City Council to clean the city have not been spotted anywhere performing the task assigned to them.
Some sources at the company say their workers have been attacked severally, one shot dead and the burning of one of their waste transportation vehicles at the small Mankon neigbourhood and in Nkwen some weeks back are part of the reasons they have halted duties.
According to our sources, “the five year contract of the company with the Bamenda City Council signed by the then Government Delegate, Vincent Nji Ndumu has expired. Contracted on the 22 of February 2017, HYSACAM had the responsibility of collecting waste from streets and even quarters.”
“This contract expired on February 22, 2022 but the company could still be seen doing work and that this continuation of work was without the renewal of the contract and the reason for the continuation of work is not known despite the none renewal of contract and certainly unpaid bills”.
It will appear that the council seems helpless about the situation faced in the city of Bamenda, and again about the situation of the renewal of the contract.
At a time when security threats have heightened, the city board is under pressure to decentralise waste management in the city especially at this time of the armed conflict and repeated suspension of work by the company. The procedure required for the renewal is considered not easy.
The local population of Bamenda may end up managing their wastes dirt individually in their different homes to avoid that a bad situation gets worse. It will be important for the city council to sensitize people in Bamenda about waste management for this to happen.