The deepening socio political crisis hitting the North West and South West regions of Cameroon continues with devastating consequences on the local population.
Coupled with the poverty that has paralyzed most families in these regions, price hikes have become the new normal.
The cost of basic commodities in both regions have increased by more than half and even doubled in some localities.
In Ndu town, considered as the economic capital of Donga Mantung Division of Cameroon’s North West region, the story is shocking.
Recounting their daily realities to Mimi Mefo info, some inhabitants of Ndu say the cost of everything has increased by an unbelievable proportion.
With regards to basic commodities, 5 litres of ‘Garri’ (cassava flakes) now sells at 1800frs CFA from the initial 900frs CFA. A packet of sugar initially sold at 850frs now sells at 1300frs CFA. A cube of soap initially sold at 300frs now costs 400frs. Same proportionate increase with rice, salt maggi cubes and the list is long. Dealers complain of repeated confrontations between separatists and the army, coupled with several bans on circulation within and out of the region which has made it hard for them to reach their suppliers and vice versa.
The high cost is not limited to basic commodities as the transport sector is not left out. Distances initially covered by commercial motorbikes and township taxis for 100frs are now charged 200frs CFA or more.
Leaving Ndu to the divisional chief town Nkambe or other localities like Ako, Nwa, Masaje within the division now needs a budgetary plan as the fare has doubled in some cases. Same goes with moving to places like Tatum, Kumbo, Bamenda or other parts of the North West region.
Drivers and riders complain of the difficulties in getting ‘Zoazoa’ fuel smuggled from Neighbouring country, which before the crisis was widely used in the area.
The crisis has also paralyzed fuel business as most filling stations go, sometimes for months without fuel; caused by multiple bans on movement and a paralyzed transport sector.
Beer Prices have increased too as in most localities across these regions, there are no Les Brasseries du Cameroun products. Guinness S.A. which is now enjoying almost total monopoly has its products sold by retailers in these regions at very exorbitant prices.
A bottle of stout sold at 600frs in Douala, Yaoundé and Bafoussam costs 1000frs in some parts of the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
The situation is not very different in Manyu division, Menchum Division, Lebialem and several other localities.