The weather bulletin is not bringing good news to the population of the Southwest. The National Observatory on Climate Change (Onacc) forecasts "very heavy" rainfall from April 1 to 10 in this region, which has already suffered deadly flooding just last month.
The Onacc bulletin warned about high risks of new flooding episodes, mainly in the cities of Limbe, Tiko, Mutenguene, and Buea. Last month, at least two people died in mudslides following heavy rainfall in Buea. The rains washed away sections of roads and vehicles, and destroyed houses and businesses, leaving many families and economic operators in distress.
The situation is not getting any better since Onacc forecasts, for this month, further extensive damages including, risk of death by drowning due to flooding, landslides in steeply slopy areas, destruction of various infrastructures (schools, houses, hospitals, transformers, wooden poles, etc.), and increase in the number of road accidents, especially in foggy days.
On the health plan, Onacc forecasts a resurgence of cholera cases "following the contamination of water points by polluted runoff”. This situation is all the more worrying since the Southwest was the most affected region during the cholera epidemic in October 2021. To prevent things from reaching an alarming level, authorities are already calling on the population to respect the urban rules. Prevention mechanisms, suggested by Greenpeace, will also be deployed to help control the situation.
“The reaction of the authorities and the assistance provided to the population, if they are 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 people who died. These negative impacts would be greatly mitigated by the establishment and popularization of warning systems, the better use of the information contained in the regular weather bulletins, the implementation of adaptation measures, and the prevention of risks and disasters contained in the convergence plan of Cameroon,” said Greenpeace Africa’s Forest Campaigner for the Congo Basin.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem