Amidst a drastic drop of FCFA 350 million annual tax revenue, the economy of Kolofata has nosedived due to the activities of the Nigerian-based terrorist group, Boko Haram.
Inhabitants of Cameroon’s Far North Region say they are living in misery following an accute economic depression caused by ongoing Boko Haram attacks, with at least 300 shops destroyed by militants of the sect.
Kolofata, in Mayo Sava Division, is among the localities worst affected by the group’s terrorist activities, with several homes destroyed, many villagers killed and others kidnapped.
Local tax revenue from the area has also dropped from the previous FCFA 350 million derived from the locality some five years ago before the crisis intensified.
“Kolofata has become an unrecognizable city following attacks by jihadist fighters. More than 300 shops set on fire and destroyed in the locality of Amchidé. The ENEO network sacked with several losses in human life, leaving behind thousands of orphaned children who have abandoned school for small businesses in order to meet their primary subsistence needs,” said an inhabitant of the locality.
Hadja Fatimé Alhadji, a Kolofata resident says: “We suffer a lot. All these children that you saw for the most part have lost their parents and the others, we do not know where their fathers are. As such, they are abandoned under the care of their mothers. They have to sell wood or doughnuts to find something to eat.”
Following the numerous atrocities against civilians in the area, His Majesty SEÏNI BOUKAR, Mayor of Kolofata, was held hostage with his family by the Boko Haram, an Orthodox islamist sect which wants to create an Islamic caliphate around the Lake Chad area.
This area includes northern Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Chad, where the group has displaced hundreds of thousands, killing thousands of others in the past five years.
After Lamido SEÏNI BOUBAKR of Kolofata survived the Boko Haram harassment, he sought refuge in the nearby town of Mora, where he is accompanying government soldiers to track Boko Haram.
“We are going through difficult times, no light, no roads, to which is added the phenomenon of insecurity which is in full swing in this city. I am the head of this community but the majority of my population have deserted their homes. Those who had the courage to stay are afraid and each time the attacks are increasing,” he said.
Of the 47 municipalities in the Far North region of Cameroon, Kolofata has suffered the most from terrorist attacks with enormous damage on basic infrastructures estimated at several billions of francs CFA.
Elite of Kolafata, the border municipality with Nigeria, say they are hoping on a Presidential reconstruction plan which will revive their properties destroyed by the Boko Haram sect.
Mimi Mefo Info