The process of cleaning up the Yaounde Municipal Lake by first draining the dirty water has begun. The draining is in prelude to the lake's rehabilitation by the Yaounde City Council. Even though the lakeside had over the years become a place for mischievous acts, there is hope that the lake will present a better appearance in future.
Yaounde-based Garage Marine Cameroon (GMC) Company is in charge of the drainage. At the lakeside yesterday July 2, the atmosphere was calm. The heavy traffic on the narrow bridge leading to ENAM did not bother the workers. The head of the company, Rachel Gouohoa explained that her company's brief is to drain the lake to enable the Yaounde City Council carry out rehabilitation.
The drainage proper began one week ago and the water level has since dropped to about four metres. Some of the workers said the water outlet had been blocked by dirt and various types of refuse dumped in the lake. "For the past 30 years, the water outlet put in place has not been functioning. So we have to first of all open it," said one of the workers. The workers said if the water outlet is opened, the lake will be completely drained in two weeks.
A source at the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, said rehabilitation will be carried out in two phases - cleaning and rehabilitation. He said the first phase has already been completed with the rehabilitation of the Sewage Treatment Plant at Messa, Yaounde. As for the second phase, studies have already been completed and the ministry is looking for funding. The second phase will consist of transforming the lake into a tourist site.