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Floods Hit Yaounde 

The rainy season is back in full gear in the capital city, Yaounde, after a short spell of dry weather that lasted several weeks.

Even though it is a sigh of relief for some people after long months of dry season, it is trouble for many others.
Following recent heavy downpours, some parts of the city were almost inaccessible due to floods. The heavy rain that started at about 5.00pm and 4.00am made it difficult for workers to return to their homes after work or leave their abodes for their daily chores.

Portions of River Mfoundi waterway behind SGBC Bank near the Mfoundi Market were flooded, spewing refuse on the road leading to the market. Also, at the Central Post Office, rainwater covered the road, making it difficult for vehicles and pedestrians to go through. At the Warda neighbourhood opposite the Multipurpose Sports Complex, the River Mefou equally overflowed its banks and covered the road leading to Tsinga.

Such scenes are commonplace in Yaounde, especially at the beginning of the rainy season. Martin Abena, a trader in the Mfoundi Market observed that the coming of the rainy season is usually dangerous because of recurrent floods.

Abena said floods are frequent in the area because people empty garbage cans into the river and other water courses. As a result, the dirt blocks the water ways, causing flooding in downtown Yaounde.

With the coming of the rainy season, inhabitants of neighbourhoods around marshy areas have started looking for houses in safer areas. Jules Manga, a Yaounde inhabitant, said he has moved his family to his village on the outskirts of the city and intends to return only in December during the dry season.

Gaël Awana, another inhabitant, said she and her family joined her relatives in other neighbourhoods to avoid the floods. Apart from moving houses, some people have developed other alternatives to face the floods. In some areas, people have started storing their belongings in high shelves constructed inside their homes to prevent damage by rain water.

Paul K., who lives in the Mimboman neighbourhood, said when it rains; the whole area is flooded for days. As a result, he and his family sleep in the shelves throughout the rainy season. Some people prefer carrying their belongings to a safer place each time it rains and bring them back when the rain ceases.

Even though efforts are being made by the Yaounde City Council to prevent floods, inhabitants continue to be lukewarm to the measures so far taken. The River Mfoundi Canal, which is supposed to serve as a major water passage to prevent flooding in the city centre, is constantly blocked by refuse, notably plastic bottles and garbage. A source at the Yaounde City Council said the authorities were doing everything to resolve the problem of floods in the city.

Elizabeth Efeti (ASMAC Student On Internship)

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