The past four years have seen an increase in the cost of living in Cameroon’s crisis plagued North West and South West regions.
The situation, despite pleas for a ceasefire, keeps deteriorating, leaving residents more desperate by the day.
One of the manifestations of hardship is the increase in daily transportation costs.
“Transport fare from Bamenda to Fundong is increasing every day,” a frequent user of the stretch of the road tells Mimi Mefo Info.
Before the crisis, he explains, “… transport was 1700FCFA. Then they increased it to 2500FCFA and during the coronavirus outbreak, they increased it again to 3500FCFA with the pretext that the number of passengers to be carried was limited.”
The situation, he adds, keeps getting worse. The same distance, which takes just about 2 hours to cover, he notes, “… they have further increased the fair to 5000FCFA. It is the same price people pay from Bamenda to Douala and they travel for over 6 hours.”
“Some claim it is because of the so many checkpoints but my worry is that the road from Bamenda to Kumba has more than fifteen [police] checkpoints, and the drivers settle all. We don’t know what is happening because we the population are suffering,” he says.
Separatist fighters locally called Amba boys are also said to be milking the road users of the little they make.
He says, “Even after paying the 5,000 FCFA, amba boys will still ask you to support their struggle which is compulsory for Fundong people and it is 1000FCFA.”
Similar situations have been witnessed in some parts of the troubled regions especially the North West region where transportation to some areas has gone up by close to ten times the original cost.
Mimi Mefo Info