Yaounde is the capital of Cameroon. It is situated on a hilly, forested plateau between the Nyong and Sanaga rivers in the south-central part of the country.
Yaoundé is, like Rome, built on seven hills, and located in the southern part of the country. The city is also the capital of Cameroon’s Centre Region.
Just like the rest of other African capital cities, the city of Yaounde suffers from a large influx of persons into it to search for various opportunities. Indeed, fast-growing Yaounde today has a population estimated at between three and four million people.
This phenomenon has led to various side effects most often than not in the form of overcrowded, nasty, and inaccessible neighbourhoods, swamps, smelly gutters, and a very high crime wave.
The sanitation of the city of Yaounde, when compared to other African capitals, is equally worrisome. Apart from the rugged and poor infrastructure that characterizes the city, there is hardly any neighbourhood that has been well planned.
A foreigner entering Yaounde almost immediately detects the state of the country from the extremely neglected capital. It is a new normal in Yaounde for people to dump refuse by the sides of the road and hope that the sanitation company, Hysacam, and council authorities will come and clear it.
For a city so much renowned across the African continent, the most basic of facilities like public toilets and public trash cans are almost a thing of luxury. One can almost count how many public toilets are available in the town, the reason why it is very common for people to relieve themselves along roadsides and nearby bushes.
[ Available toilets owned by some private sectors tend to charge for usage.]
Speaking to some citizens in the Capital city of Yaounde, the response, for the most part, was that of despair and shame.
University of Yaounde I student, Bime Cynthia thinks there is still a lot to be done for Yaounde to be worthy of the tag ‘Capital city’.
“There is a lot to be done in Yaounde really by both the authorities and the individuals. It is high time people become responsible in their actions and their fight for a cleaner and liveable city,” she said.
“I think the authorities should put some very stringent laws on sanitation for people to abide by. It is increasingly common in Yaounde for persons to eat and throw dirt on the roads. Heavy penalties like payment of fines and manual labor should be meted on such individuals. I think by doing so, the sanitation situation of the town will be a lot better than the sham we have now,” she reiterated.
While some suggest that the sanitation situation of the capital city can only be ameliorated by the citizens since they are the ones who mess it up, Nadjeu Manfred, a store owner in the Acacias Market in Yaounde thinks the Yaounde councils are responsible for the total neglect of the capital city and should do their jobs as guardians of the town.
“The sanitation situation of Yaounde largely depends on the Mayors in charge of the town. They have the yam and the knife with the decisions that affect their municipalities and I think the very first utmost thing of a council is the sanitary conditions of its municipality. The town now is in a state of absolute chaos and there is much to do to salvage the situation,” he said.
Fidele, a University student thinks there is absolutely nothing spectacular about Yaounde in comparison to other cities in the country.
“I had always loved to live in Yaounde as a capital city. But when I came to Yaounde, I realized there is virtually no difference between Yaounde and a town like Bafoussam and it is supposed to be the administrative capital. We realize that in Yaounde, some strategic parts of the town have been well taken care of but the majority is in a pitiable condition and highly neglected.
“I think as capital, we can do better as a nation by investing more into it. But still, there are more pressing issues to be handled in the country like handling the COVİD-19 and the crisis in the Anglophone region,s” she suggested.
This highlight the problems to which the authorities in charge of the country must first bring a solution in a context to fight against poverty and Cameroon a befitting first impression.
© Mimi Mefo Info