Despite the arrival of a second waste operator, Yaoundé is still struggling to get rid of household waste. As a result, there has been an increase in illegal dumpsites throughout the capital. In response to that persistent issue, the Urban Community of Yaoundé (CUY) plans to recruit new operators, ideally one operator per district.
The mayor of the city, Luc Messi Atangana, justifies this measure by the "insufficient number" of waste collectors at a time when the volume of waste to be processed is growing due to incivility, population growth, and rapid expansion of the city.
"Even Hysacam [the waste operator that once held a monopoly over waste collection in the city] admits that it is overwhelmed by the volume of waste. At the city hall, we have facilitated the recruitment of a second operator [Thychlof Sarl, which operates notably in Yaoundé III]. We were the first to do so, proving that we are not standing on the sidelines [to just watch the situation unfold],” the mayor said on state radio CRTV yesterday.
The idea of recruiting new operators was suggested during a consultation meeting between CUY, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (Minhdu), the senior divisional officer of Mfoundi, district mayors, Mfoundi traditional chiefs, and the two companies responsible for waste management in the city, last Tuesday. During the consultation, the parties also agreed to establish transit waste disposal sites to try to alleviate the problem. "These are temporary retention areas for waste to overcome the long distances and traffic density that slow down their transport to the Nkolfoulou landfill," the mayor explains.
They also recommended the creation of a fee payable by waste producers to address the limited available resources. "Waste treatment is expensive for the city council. We don't have enough money. As for the district councils, they don't even have the resources to handle this matter. But so far, these councils, along with the development committees, are getting involved," he said. To reverse the trend, CUY plans to finance these services through fees imposed on those who produce the waste, following the polluter-pays principle. "This is what is done in other countries, but we haven't implemented it yet," Luc Messi Atangana concluded.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem