A flood of unprecedented magnitude has hit Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon. This disaster, caused by heavy rains, paralyzed the metropolis, causing inestimable material damage and sparking a wave of emotion. While the city is struggling to recover from this tragedy, the weather forecast announces more showers.
The city of Douala woke up with its feet in the water on Friday, August 21. After heavy rains that fell on the town at night and all Friday morning, the worst has happened: a flood unprecedented since the start of this rainy season. From residential districts to shopping districts, the whole economic metropolis has taken a cold shower.
The waters burst into homes, forcing the occupants to flee or to take refuge on roofs for some. The main arteries of the city were held hostage for hours. Incredible scenes that have toured social networks and sparked a wave of sadness in the country.
Following this disaster, which left many families homeless, several Cameroonian officials raided the field to assess the situation.
After Célestine Ketcha Courtes, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Antanga Nji descended on the scene of the disaster on Monday, August 24, with a donation from President Paul Biya for the victims of these torrential rains.
A vicious circle
A few days before this natural disaster, the national observatory on climate change (ONAC) had mentioned a “very high risk of flooding cases across Cameroon”. However, nothing was done to limit the damage. Located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, at the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea at the mouth of the Wouri River, the city of Douala is customary due to the wintering season.
The new episode of this soap opera, which is repeated cyclically, is, according to Pierre-Marie Essoh, a Cameroonian environmentalist, “due to the heavy rains in August generally followed by large floods, but also to the dilapidated water drainage equipment”.
“Today, there is a need to install new drainage equipment. In addition, all these wastewater evacuation channels are blocked by the waste that the inhabitants of the different neighborhoods throw into the gutters,” he laments.