The mayor of Buea Council in Fako division, South West region, Mafani Namange has announced plans to cause the arrest owners of poor toilets and shut bars with substandard hygienic conditions amid a surging Cholera pandemic.
He spoke to journalists in Buea March 24. His outing was on the cholera outbreak that has been ravaging the Mile 16 – Bolifamba community in Buea since January this year.
With several people blaming the municipal authorities for failing to ensure houses and toilets are well constructed in the municipality, Mayor Namange said he will be swinging into action with “regrettable” measures.
“So in the days ahead, it’s regrettable to tell you that we have started and we are going to arrest many people who are doing this because even your life you don’t have to take it away, talk less of you being a public health hazard,” he warned.
“So those who have such places we are going to close even bars. Any bar that is not clean without toilet facilities; which is unhygienic we are going to close it in the days ahead. And all those who have constructed toilets and they have linked their suck aways to the gutters we are going to arrest and prosecute them,” he added.
He blamed the cholera outbreak on poor hygiene conditions and unchecked water sources, stating that some of the boreholes that are now substituting for insufficient potable water are not dug in hygienic places and many wells are shallow.
“We had a very big area inhabited by so many people and they don’t have toilet facilities and so many of them have connected the waste. The same water, I don’t know how they do that, they are messing it and they are using it to do their laundry; they are fetching it to take it to their houses with all of that, you see, we cannot avoid what is ongoing,” he said.
Statistics medics released on March 22 indicated that the Buea Health District is the third most affected area in the Southwest region of Cameroon, with 326 cases out of 1906 cases recorded by then.
Limbe (682) and Bakassi (345) health districts had the first and second highest number of infections respectively. To survive the current outbreak, Mayor Mafani Namange said people should “come together and work as one, maintain hygienic conditions to curb the spread of this disease which is ravaging and our population people are dying in their numbers”.
He also talked of the cholera vaccine which is available at the Buea Regional Hospital.