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Food stored against ‘uncertain October’ rots as blackout hits Kumba

Families in Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon are battling with decomposing food stuffs stocked at home to curb uncertainties anticipated ahead of the first week of October 2018, owing to four days of blackout.

Separatists consider October 1 as Independence Day while Cameroonians will go to the polls on October 7 to vote a new President.

With the anxiety brought about by the Anglophone Crisis and the Presidential race, families had already taken pre-emptive measures in case of a showdown on the streets.

The absence of electricity for days has left families grappling with perishable food stuffs already preserved in fridges.

Items such as meat, tomatoes, pepper among others that had been loaded into fridges have decomposed.

Cecilia Nnoko, resident of the Kumba Town neighbourhood, lamented the damages suffered.

“I had stocked my fridge with food stuffs Worth FCFA 50,000 but with this prolonged absence of electricity I am struggling to dry the meat. But for others like tomatoes, I have given my neighbours some to avoid any waste. But I have to start stressing again to get money to adjust my menu,” Nnoko stated.

Jacqueline Fon on her part said, the blackout has increased her frustration.

Mrs Fon explained that she had finished arrangements and stocked the house to sustain a family of 15 persons for the period at hand.

“I had enough cow skin(canda) in my fridge, then the tomato and groundnut paste I put in the fridge has gone sour. The small quantity of fish and vegetable I bought has also spoiled…. all these loss is because there is no light…how I wish the lights were constant,” Mrs Fon told The National Times.

Diane Ekue, specialised in roasting fresh fish, said she faces threats on her business following the blackout. First, when business is slow, she cannot preserve the left over for another market day. The pepper used to sell the fish cannot also be preserved in the fridge. Ekue now goes the extra mile to buy wood and steam the pepper to prevent it from deteriorating.

At the level of the Kumba Main Market, owners of cold stores are battling with generators to preserve fresh fish on sale in their fridges from decomposing.

In most compounds, women are spotted sunning other food stuffs already decomposing. Such items before now were found in the comfort of their fridges.

Prolonged absence of electricity has been recurrent in Kumba. Such last for as long as five days with no one offering explanation yo the public.

As at the early hours of Friday September 28, no one could ascertain when lights will return to Kumba. The lights went off in the night of Tuesday.

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