BY NDUMBE BELL JOSEPH GASTON IN DOUALA
PAD, in collaboration with the Ministry of State Property, Cadastral and Land Affairs, are engaged in an ambitious program to enlarge PAD’s sphere of influence or territory and carry out port activities.
The operation is expected to free an area of land worth 97 hectares of land and evacuate an estimated population of 150,000 inhabitants most of who the Ministry of Lands has declared as illegal occupants.
The impounded areas, the MINDCAF says, are in red zone places like Alpicam, Mambanda and surroundings in the Douala-Bonabéri 4th district including other places in Youpwe and Essengue, where breakages by PAD are said to have included shops, workshops, houses and other unspecified, belongings.
The act has raised jitters in the spines of the inhabitants of Mambanda, Alpicam and environs where the same evacuation exerciseis expected soon in an even larger scale.
In a strong statement signed March 28 this year by Mr Henri Eyebe Ayissi of Mindcaf, it stated that the Douala autonomous port will extend its area to include places called Mambanda, Alpicam and suroundings. The statement which is also said to be their manifesto, also declared that PAD is a public utility to use those land areas for work to develop port activities.
Referring to legality over their intentions, PAD and Mindcaf since 2016 have been busy in securing space for their services as defined by decrees of July 3, 1975 and that of October 10, 1977 classifying the public domain of Douala-Bonaberi. The document went on to secure 1000 hectares for PAD engulfing some areas which are illegally occupied by inhabitants, as mentioned.
Port authorities are cited as saying the port needs this area for present and envisaged growth, competitiveness and extension whenever deemed necessary.
Apparently, for those who have settled there for decades, they see this program as a total disaster especially as there are growing fears that there is to be no compensation in site. However, there appears to be more consultations between the two parties to seek a peaceful and fair settlement.