On Sunday, October 8, several homes were destroyed in the deadly landslide that occurred in the Mbankolo district of Yaounde, following heavy rains in the city. The catastrophe was mainly due to anarchic buildings in high-risk areas, according to the authorities. "These houses were built in a dangerous area," said the Minister of Territorial Administration (Minat), Paul Atanga Nji, while city specialists are calling for strict compliance with urban planning standards and the updating of housing development plans.
To "prevent this from happening again," the National Order of Cameroonian Architects (NOCA) wants to contribute its "expertise to help determine the reasons for this landslide," which caused the death of some thirty people, according to a provisional official toll. "We are aware of the scale of the disaster and would like to express our condolences to the bereaved families. We understand the importance of helping avoid such tragedies in the future. As architects, our duty is to design and build safe living spaces," wrote its president, Jean-Christophe Ndongo, in a condolence message published the day after the tragedy.
According to the head of NOCA, only 2% of buildings constructed in Cameroon are built by architects. He believes that this factor can explain the building collapses observed in recent months in the country. The buildings are not built following either the required construction standards or the monitoring rules, he said. To help prevent similar disasters, the NOCA intends to support the government in the fight against unlawful architecture and construction practices. "We confirm our commitment to working with local authorities on urban planning regulations to ensure your safety," says the president.