The heavy rains of July 23 in Douala and July 24 in Limbe, Littoral and South West Regions of Cameroon respectively, which resulted in floods, could be a danger signal for the nation’s hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
AFCON 2019 is expected to be staged in Cameroon within this same period known to be the peak of the Rainy Season. Douala and Limbe are cities to play host to teams for the competition.
While Limbe is the heart of touristic attractions in the South West Region, Douala is the nation’s economic capital. Cameroon will be the first country to host an expanded AFCON up from 16 to 24 nations.
Limbe has a modern stadium at Ngeme build with the aid of the Chinese Government. In Douala, the Japoma Stadium with a capacity of 60,000 seats is fast metamorphosing into a soccer jewel.
But the floods of last week, which overran vehicles , businesses and health facilities with deaths reported in Limbe has sent observers questioning its implications, if such where to happen when the AFCON is already on.
The area of the road on the east entrance into Douala around Nyalla is known to be equally a passage way to the Japoma sporting facility. Urban planning experts are already urging the Government of Cameroon to address the drainage and road challenges facing Douala to avoid such an embarrassment next year.
Development experts averred that cities such as Limbe and Douala with huge facilities to host visitors who may be sojourning on home soil should be adequately evaluated in terms of flood risks.
The embarrassment of having visitors stranded in water at major shopping centers which experience floods last week has also been called to question.
Yaoundé the nation’s capital has had its share of flooding each time it rains recently. Avenue Kennedy, a major shopping hub in the capital has been of great concern to the municipal authorities.
Presidential directives have often come in time to accelerate measures towards arresting such ‘shame’.
Less than a year to the continental show piece, the Cameroonian sporting public remains anxious to see the country records success in hosting the competition like it did in the 2016 female continental competition.