By Tata Mbunwe
A Person Living With Disability, PLWD, Veronique Dorothee Djilo is among eight persons who died following a stampede at the Olembe Stadium in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde Monday January 24.
The victims were among thousands who trooped to the facility to watch Cameroon’s quarterfinal clash against Comoros.
Disabilities and women advocates have been mourning, Dorothee Djilo, whom the they said was a vibrant and active voice in disability issues.
Some members of the women advocacy community such as Sisterspeak237, said, she was as an active and lively person. Reacting to Veronique’s demise, sadness, journalist Commy Mussa of Sisterspeak237, said “she was always appreciative and full of life”.
“A stampede is hard enough for anybody. It is harder for persons with any kind of impairment. We will talk about access/inclusion, safety at AFCON another time,” stated Commy Musa.
Lilian Dibo Eyong, another woman with mobility impairment wrote: “Persons with disability have lost a valuable asset. Is this how TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON wants to pay persons living with disabilities? Oh my God. This hurts”.
Questioning the accessibility of stadiums for persons with disability, Rita Acha, an official of Sisterspeaks237 said Veronique was “my friend and sister”.She added: “My heart is broken. How do I cry? We had dreams of amplifying the voices of women and persons with disabilities together”.
The incident has caused disability enthusiasts to raise questions on a vital aspect in the construction of public infrastructure taking into consideration accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Before her demise, she was a teacher at Lycee Classique d’Esouck in Yaounde.
In 2013, she graduated from the University of Yaounde I with a degree in history.The native of Bandjoun, West region leaves behind friends and her family to mourn.
Survivors of the stampede have accused security elements of negligence. They are said to have closed the last gate leading into the stadium, provoking a hold up that resulted into a stampede a few months to the start of the match.