The Minister of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (Minepded), Pierre Hele (photo), recently launched a call for expression of interest to recruit a consultant that will carry out the diagnostic study of air quality in Douala and Yaoundé.
This study is aimed at protecting the environment and residents’ health. The selected consultant will have to identify and label the main sources of pollutant emissions, make an inventory of air quality, and assess the impact of air quality on the environment and human health.
It will also develop a pragmatic action plan for the reduction of air emissions and improve air quality in each city. The study will be financed from the 2020 budget of the Minepded Special Allocation Account.
The Minepded explains that the two cities were chosen because they account for more than a quarter of the country’s population, estimated at nearly 25 million. Moreover, because of their economic weight, these cities account for more than half of the energy consumed in Cameroon.
To make matters worse, official statistics show that in these cities, the car fleet is about 15 years old and is constituted of mostly used cars. Also, because of the sensible lack of public transportation, nearly 100,000 motorcycles ensure the daily movement of the population.
All these mobility solutions, the Minepded notes, have harmful consequences on the health and quality of life. These consequences include accidents, noise, and air pollution… Moreover, "demographic growth, industrial dynamics and the anarchic development of transport are the cause of significant emissions of pollutants that are harmful to health and particularly cause respiratory diseases," Peter Hele says.
These pollutants also lead to major imbalances in the functioning of the biosphere, which in particular causes global warming.
The study is therefore in line with the 11th sustainable development goal entitled Sustainable Cities and Communities.
“When sustainable, cities allow residents to progress economically and socially (…) Since the Cameroonian constitution states that everyone has the right to a healthy environment, the state must defend and protect the environment,” he adds