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Mbankolo Disaster: Amid Condolences, Support, and Critiques, Site Witnesses Parade of Prominent Figures

Mbankolo Disaster: Amid Condolences, Support, and Critiques, Site Witnesses Parade of Prominent Figures

Paru le mercredi, 11 octobre 2023 15:38

Since the deadly landslide that officially claimed the lives of about thirty people in Mbankolo last Sunday, several prominent figures have visited the disaster site.  The day after the tragedy, Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Atanga Nji was the first government official to visit the site. He was accompanied by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Célestine Ketcha Courtès. During his visit, he said he was conveying President Paul Biya and the First Lady’s sympathy and condolence message.  As for Minister Ketcha Courtès, she made a controversial statement pointing at the responsibility of people living in high-risk areas.  

Later, Minister of Communication René Emmanuel Sadi also visited the site to enquire about the situation. Public Health Minister Manaouda Malachié toured the health facilities where the injured were admitted. In a report about his tour, he indicated that 11 victims were being treated, “including 8 admitted at the Yaoundé Emergency Center and 3 at the Yaoundé Central Hospital for head trauma with partial loss of memory, fractures, and multiple injuries, among others. No vital prognosis has yet been given. The victims included two children, aged 9 and 3 respectively. The youngest lost both his parents in the incident."

Another visit that did not go unnoticed was that of Frank Biya, the Head of State's eldest son. In several pictures shared on social media, he can be seen chatting with the mayor of Yaounde II, Yannick Martial Ayissi Eloundou.

From social media, it is also gathered that some influencers, such as socialite "Croqueuse de diamants", have visited the site. 

Another major visit was that of Maurice Kamto, national president of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement. Presented as one of the main opponents to the current government, he visited Mbankolo on Tuesday, October 10. Pictures show him chatting with residents, in the catastrophic setting left by the earthflow. "The Mbankolo tragedy has brought back to the table the nagging question of land planning and urban development in particular. How many tragedies linked to the lack of rationalization in the management of urban space will it take for those in power to understand that to manage is to forecast and plan,” he said. 

The day after the tragedy, MP Cabral Libii, leader of the Cameroonian Party for National Reconciliation, was one of the first politicians to visit the scene. He took that opportunity to criticize the government’s management. "This tragedy is yet another illustration of the government's negligence. The authorities have failed in their duty to protect the population. I call on the government to take urgent measures to prevent such tragedies in the future. We urgently need to step up surveillance of high-risk areas and implement preventive measures," he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

● Fact Cheking



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