Cameroon: Heavy Rains Hit Douala

Persistent Torrential downpour has left the city in a sea of water with differing fortunes on inhabitants.

For four days now and still counting, there has been persistent torrential rainfall in Douala leaving the city in a sea of water with untold social and economic consequences on the inhabitants. The peak of the rainfall was on Friday July 3 when neighbourhoods like Makepe Mosoke, Mabanda and Bonaberi were like the city of Venice, immersed in water up to about a foot high. Even streets in well-to-do quarters like Bonapriso and some parts of Bonanjo, were flooded such that one could not distinguish the road from the pavement or gutter, causing motorists to drive through the pools slowly or completely parking their vehicles. The only difference here is that the running water is clean and doesn't get into people's houses such as in the poor neighbourhoods like Makepe or Mabanda where people lost properties due to the flood.

As for now, the rains have not ended year and meteorologists are predicting a heavy precipitation this year and we are just at the beginning of the rainy season. Which means it will be a difficult year for inhabitants of slumps this year in Douala. Luckily, some mayors are taking up the challenge. Like in Douala IV where the mayor is projecting to free the water passage to the sea in Mabanda, not only by cleaning the water way but also demolishing structures that prevent the free flow of water after rainfall. This is addition to the ongoing project of the construction of water drainages around the Douala metropolis by the City Council.

However, as the saying goes, one man's fortune is another man's misfortune. While transporters complain of a drop down in business due to the persistent rainfall, some traders are doing brisk business selling umbrellas both for personal use and for motorbikes. Motor bike riders have developed a habit of washing their bikes in the pools of water around the streets in Bonapriso while washing points complain of a drop in customers. Another affected group are open air restaurants and bars which are very common in Douala. They can no longer operate and even when they can afford an umbrella or canopy, the rains are usually accompanied by wins which make customers uncomfortable and thereby shy away.

Hawkers are equally facing a difficult time as they can no longer go about freely with their business. Another negative effect of the persistent rainfall, are traffic jams during the brief moments of recess, frequent power cuts and ruptures in supply of satellite images by the local cable operator. The persistent rains and the coronavirus pandemic have slowed down activities in Douala. It has also led to a rise in criminality as men of the underworld take advantage of the rainfall at night to carry out burglaries in people's homes. Health wise, people complain of a of strange fever which is generally attributed to the changing seasons. But there is no scientific proof to buttress this argument. More of people shy away from hospital and prefer the local pharmacopeia for fear of their illness being attributed to corona virus in the hospital.

More From: Cameroon Tribune

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