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« Post Of Assistant Managers In SONARA Scrapped | Main | IMF Mission Here To Determine Cameroon’s Fate »

Tuesday, 26 July 2005

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Willie

I am repeating this again from Mbella Moki's interview to the post.
All along the interview I never caught a glimpse of understanding his plan of action. “We discussed we them in finding a lasting solution to the problem”. I’ve read this many times in the text. What solution?. I have the feeling it’s that easy to come out with an agreement that we don’t know what it is. I am not criticizing Mbella moki , he has been a good Mayor and one of the best, but I feel he has to come out clear. I was born bred and though buttered abroad I believe the problem in Buea is far fetched. In the beginning of the sixties, my parents got a land in the middle of Great Soppo, and were not allowed to build a brick house in the pretext that it might be a temporal base and every one was by law subdued to do the same. Every thing was well structures planned and executed. In that era the streets were planned. That is living proof looking at the streets of Great Soppo. When the government of Cameroon changed in the 80’s things took a turn and the beautiful Buea we used to know and proud of as kids changed to slumps, wrecked roads, old patches of British and German tar mark never been maintained. Houses were constructed without plan, many bribed the council and the ministry of housing and town planning who sat saw these things happening in their own eyes and did nothing. It is a good Idea to destroy properties etc, but has the government, town planning department or council got a plan of the town? Tell me if you have ever seen a map of Buea. Buea which is meant to be one of most attractive town for tourists, yet been neglected for to long. Take the recent tarring of some streets in Buea, no plan was design for the job and the government just took tar a threw on the road very unprofessionally and 2-3 years on pot holes can be found on some of those roads already. No planning was done for these roads. No drainage was design either and the roads were not well engineered. Compare these roads with the Bongo Square to hospital road that was constructed in the early 80’s. A drainage system was designed and in no occasioned has that road ever flooded, and it still stands up to today. This is just to show how a job has to be done.
The problem is the council and the government and not people. In a land where there is no law what do you expect?. My message to the Mayor is, take your time speak to town planning professionals and design the town. Twin with other towns abroad and learn something from them, look for funding and don’t just expect to throw people out of their houses rending them homeless, you will need to provide an alternative. Provide bins on the street that should be catered for and emptied on a regular basis. Buea has the potential to be the most beautiful town in Cameroon. If nothing is done today not only properties, but also lives shall be lost and the town will be almost unrecoverable.

Ma Mary

In the 1970's, 1960s and before, torrents of water normally flowed down the mountain during the rainy season. Infact, there were riverbeds and gorges that were seasonal, filling up almost to the brim, but never generalized flooding. I think the problem in Buea is a combination of factors. One of them is that the heavy rains of the past subsided for a few decades and people became complacent, started throwing garbage in those natural drainage routes. People began to build on the places that water would normally drain through in the absence of their natural drainage passages. People unfamiliar with the massive power of the mountain were born or moved and took things for granted. The other thing is the felling of trees which prevent massive erosion. If a massive tree planting campaign is not embarked on, there are going to be fatal landslides from waterlogged soil. It happens in Mexico with alarming regularity in places were humans have overbuilt on slopes and removed the trees. Heck it happened in Victoria a couple of years ago. The other thing is that Fako will erupt and tremor to compound all these other things. There is special architecture for places like Buea with hills, rain and volcano. Infact, the early Bakweri dwellings in the area were a good adaptation. One was less likely to die from heavy beams or concrete slabs smashing one into a sheet in the event of a serious earthquake. Of course, that style of building became the butt of jokes and has basically disappeared. People need to use their brains and adapt and learn. The mayor should not allow people to stay in houses that are structurally unsound. That might be the unpopular thing, but the safe thing to do.

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