18 April 2017

Cameroon: Nkololoun - Business Invades Roads

Many blame the situation on lack of City Council's sustained driving of vendors from the stretch.

What has become known as "spontaneous markets" is a veritable upset to all who commute within Douala. Many of them are roadside markets and are for the most part responsible for traffic congestions and accidents in the port city. The recently constructed road (double lane) linking the Nkololoun Junction and Marché des Femmes is once more greatly invaded with both lanes heavily encroached. Hundreds of vendors encroaching each lane leave very little space for traffic movement. Furthermore, permanent shopkeepers are irked by the fact that their business is getting affected as their verandahs are being encroached by vendors. "We pay for these shops and will not want any vendors to set up on our verandah or in front of us; it creates an unfair competition for customers between us," Esther Semuli, a trader at Marché Nkololoun, laments. The Douala City Council have sometimes ago forcefully evacuated recalcitrant vendors who were reluctant to leave the road, but in their part failed to sustain the effort and so vendors have returned into the road. When tarring of the road was over gendarmes, police and municipal police stood along the road throughout the day, checking and evicting encroaching vendors. The mixed patrol deployed on several occasions to the area launched several drives and demolished unauthorised sheds, evicted vendors from the lanes, lifted motorcycles illegally parked on the roads at junctions to their office. Many city dwellers thought their plight was over. Movement around this area is chaotic and unorganised. Consequently, pick-pocketing and other forms of banditry are common throughout the day.

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