Saturday, 28 January 2017

The City Of Bamenda Is At Real Environmental Risk

For over 60 years, Bamenda city in the Northwest of Cameroon has experienced an increased rapid population explosion with considerable damage on the local species of plants and health of the inhabitants.

Consequently, the ever increasing population in Bamenda has forced so many people, who live far below poverty line, to construct houses on high risk zones where there is little or no access to health, water and sanitation services.

Presenting a study he had carried out recently on Bamenda, 55 years after, during an important meeting Up Station, environmental expert Emmanuel Nfor Nfor, a Senior Science Teacher of Government Bilingual High School Bamendankwe, told Northwest Governor Abakar Ahamat, traditional and religious authorities that if the present growth rate and the activities of Bamenda city are not checked, a disaster will hit Bamenda soon.

In a paper presentation, “Human -Induced Disease and Ecological Risks: The Case of Bamenda City”, Nfor said due to considerable environmental degradation, Bamenda has rapidly lost its local ecosystems thereby affecting climate change severely.

This disruption of ecosystems is caused by large migration of rural population to the city. As such, Nfor said the objectives of his presentation are to tickle the government to reduce the risks and inform the population on potential effects of human habitation.

He also insisted on the need for action by international community, governments, individuals and communities.Nfor presented some adaptation options and elaborated on the benefits of slowing down the rate of occupation of risk sites such as Bamenda Up-Station slope where most people have constructed permanent houses defying government ceaseless warnings over the years.

On his part, Barrister Nchonu Sama, Executive Director of Foundation for Environment and Development FEDEV, presenting a paper “Promoting environmental governance and sustainable development”, said in Cameroon access to justice in environmental matters is often not easy. Barrister Nchonu pointed out that legal guarantees and provisions on access to information and public participation are still weak, and to an extent, vague.

According to him, the law is also very hard on whosoever gives out wrongful information but very silent on whosoever fails to give information at all. “Practically, we do not have an environmentally informed public. This ignorance hinders ability to seek redress when wronged,” Nchonu said.

According to Nchonu, corruption and concentration of powers breeds environmental injustice. This, he says is evident in the non compliance, environmental harm and information case studies.

He, however, pointed out the fact that there are legal and regulatory frame work which provide enabling conditions for access to environmental justice and support enforcement.
The City Of Bamenda Is At Real Environmental Risk
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