By Washira Helene
Beauty queens of Cameroon are the latest group of persons to pay tribute to victims of the landslide that hit Mbankolo neighborhood in Yaounde on October 8.
The three beauty queens, including Miss Cameroon 2023; Miss World Cameroon 2023 and the second runner’s up for Miss Cameroon 2023 were at the Mbankolo landslide scene on Sunday, October 16, to condole with the victims and survivors.
At the scene, they laid wreaths of flowers and lit candles in tribute to the deceased victims. They also handed out food, water and other basic necessities to their families as a sign of solidarity.
The gesture came one week after a landslide that killed at least 30 people and injured several others in Mbankolo on the night of Sunday, October 8.
“We are here today to express our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy,” said Miss Cameroon 2023, Princess Issie.
“Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this disaster.”
The Mbankolo landslide left a huge tragedy. Aside from the human casualties, it left several people injured and others displaced.
The Ministry of Territorial Administration, which was in charge of responding and managing the disaster, said the floods displaced 57 families.
It offered them financial and material aid, including rice towels, soap, buckets, blankets and sardines.
Meanwhile, the landslide was caused by heavy rains that triggered an outburst from an artificial lake in the sloppy neighborhood of Mbankolo.
The visit of the beauty queens to the site brought much-needed comfort to its survivors, some of whom lost their entire families in the disaster.
“This experience reminded me of how important it is to stand together in difficult times. Together we can make a difference,” said Ngeuleu Raissa, Miss West Region 2023 and the 2nd runner’s up for Miss Cameroon 2023.
“We probably won’t be able to ease the pain of these families. We can just cry with them and let God console us,” said Julia Samantha, Miss World Cameroon 2023.
In addition to their visit to Mbankolo site, the beauty queens have also been using their platforms to raise awareness of the disaster and encourage people to donate to relief efforts.
“We urge everyone to do their part to help the victims of the Mbankolo landslide,” said Julia Samantha. “Even a small donation can make a big difference.”
Many have hailed their concern for the Mbankolo victims and their efforts to raise awareness about the disaster as an example of how people can come together to support one another in times of need.