Sea swimming is currently prohibited in Kribi. Nouhou Bello, the senior divisional officer of Ocean division, Southern Cameroon, issued the ban due to the heavy swell observed recently." Residents and tourists arriving in Kribi and going to the beach are advised to avoid swimming these days. The waves are so violent that the risk of drowning is quite high. Swimming is prohibited until the beach calms down," the officer said in an interview published, on Monday, August 21, by the state-owned daily Cameroon Tribune.
This measure comes after the death of four people who went fishing at sea. Three other fishermen are also missing at sea, the media reports. To avoid further tragedies, the senior divisional officer is threatening to punish all those who fail to comply with the temporary ban. "Those who violate this ban will be arrested. These are administrative sanctions," he said. In Kribi, the agitated sea has recently destroyed several homes made of permanent materials built not far from the beach despite laws prohibiting such constructions on the 150-meter maritime right of way. National Road number 7 is also threatened by rising water levels.
The situation is concerning for local authorities and populations, with school expected to resume soon. According to Nouhou Bello, the sea swelling is caused by sand extraction. The officer explained that despite awareness campaigns and the repressive measures that followed, sand is still extracted from the beach. This illegal activity is accelerating coastal erosion, threatening the Kribian coastline. Some homes have already been destroyed by the sea water. The senior divisional officer is therefore calling on the population to abide by measures prescribed to combat coastal erosion. He also threatens to destroy any building constructed using sea sand, which is not suitable for construction.