Recent floods at the popular “Avenue Kennedy” in Cameroon’s Capital, Yaounde have prompted reflections on the growing phenomenon.
While experts blame the situation on climate change, environmental engineers like Ekun Vanessa, say poor or inexistent drainage systems, poor town planning, deforestation and poor waste disposal are among predominant causes of urban flooding in this the heart of Yaoundé.
After every downpour, the Central Post Office area becomes inaccessible. Water fills up office and business spaces , cars are submerged in water, and traffic comes to a halt .
“ We do not have proper drainage systems. People dump dirt in the gutters especially plastic waste with the hope that the rains will carry the rubbish away. The dirt blocks more drainages which are not properly connected. Instead of siping into the ground, the road becomes the only outlet for the water,” Ekun Vanessa told Crtv Web.
Seasonal variations have become more intense as the years go by. Unregulated urban expansion to meet housing needs and business places are also some causes according to environmental experts.
Buildings continue to crop up here and there, and cities are not prepared for the frequent floods that come with the rains.
“When these drainage channels are blocked at different levels and we have little or no way for run off after heavy rains, we start having floods,” Ekun Vanessa, Environmental Engineer says.
The rainy season has just begun and will linger on for sometime. Environmental experts insist that urgent measures must be taken to prevent further material and human losses to floods.
The sad outcome of the recent floods in Buea, South West region have not been forgotten. Two persons died, business spaces and houses were swept away by the run off water.
Few days after the floods, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji visited the victims to bring comfort and relief materials from the Presidential couple.
Some houses built on flood proned-areas in Buea have been destroyed and inhabitants evacuated to safer areas. To curb the damages caused by floods, environmental experts say the construction of proper drainage systems and better management of waste is of utmost importance.
Kathy Neba Sina