David Mafani Namange, Mayor of Buea Council.
Buea Council has been on its feet to protect its population from COVID-19. What has been the response from the population?
The message from the population has been a mixed one. We have been to markets, villages, bus stations, popular junctions sensitising the population on what COVID19 is all about and what is expected of them. We have brought to them all the Government and World Health Organisation measures to curb the dreaded pandemic. Seemingly, we thought the population had accepted and understood but when I move around I still find people who do not implement the directives of the WHO and the Government. With the softening of some of the measures some people took it to imply that the pandemic was over which is erroneous. There is the non-respect of social distancing and most denizens do not wear their face masks whereas they have been educated on this. This type of attitude is not encouraging at all. We as a Council are not backing down. We are bent on seeing that our community is COVID-19 free. We disinfected all our schools prior to June 1 reopening.
May we know the quantity of anti-COVID-19 materials that Buea Council has put at the disposal of its population?
We have worked with partners, well-wishers, elites to fight COVID-19. The Council has taken the Anti-COVID message and material to every village Buea Municipality. We set up wash hand points. First, we started in Bus Stations and then markets because that is where the bulk of the population is found at every given moment. So, these places serve are vectors of transmission. We did not stop at that but went to popular places like Bongo square, government and non-government institutions. We disinfected the Governor's Office, Police Station and other offices that the population frequents. We stationed eight 3 000 litres containers in markets and Bus Stations. 50 smaller containers of different sizes have been stationed in major junctions. We distributed more than 5 000 face masks, dozens of laundry soap to the population. Partners like the United Nations, and other local Non-Governmental Organisations equally supported us.
How is Buea Council fairing in this COVID-19 era?
We are really in bad shape. Beginning from the transportation sector where movements have been reduced the situation is a bit alarming. Some of our taxes have been reduced drastically but the worst is at the level of market toll which has been suspended. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, we raised close to FCFA 8 million monthly but now we are on zero in market toll. That notwithstanding, the State is assisting us through FEICOM and it is the assistance that help us pay salaries. I would like to tell inhabitants of Buea that Coronavirus is real. They should not deceive themselves by saying that it is something that kills only the white people. As of now, we all know at least a person around us who has died of the pandemic. But I also know many more too who have been cured because they got themselves tested on time. People should respect social distancing and other preventive measures.