Cameroon lone waste management body (HYSACAM) has, for some months now, abandoned its duty of collecting and disposing of refuse in many neighbourhoods in the Buea municipality for the fear of being caught in a cross fire between pro-independence fighters and the Cameroon military.
Neighbourhoods such as Bomaka, Mile 16, Mile 14, Mile 18, Muea, Long Street among others have not seen the waste management body for several months now due to the escalating nature of the Crisis.
The junctions of these neighbourhoods have practically been blocked by refuse that has been dumped by the inhabitants for several months now.
Small heaps of waste from household are scattered all over the road which make movement in and out of the area impossible.
Talking to some inhabitants in the neighbourhoods, The National Times gathered that the inhabitants lastly saw an HYSACAM waste disposal vehicle in May, 2018.
“For over six months now we have not seen HYSACAM waste disposal truck in our neighbourhood and we don’t know why. As you can see our streets, everywhere is littered with small heaps of waste. HYSACAM waste truck has abandoned us this way”, Madam Joyce Ageh, told The National Times News.
The inhabitants of the aforementioned neighbourhoods said the decaying waste abandoned by HYSACAM is a health hazard on the population. “Look at the waste in front of my door and at times I am compelled to push the waste away from entering my house. My children and I are constantly suffering from one disease to another because of inhaling this pungent odour from this decaying waste. It becomes worst when it rains because running water from the waste enters my house,” Kum Jonathan averred.
At the Bomaka Neighbourhood, the National Times learnt that the few inhabitants in the neighbourhood had made several calls to HYSACAM office informing them of the damaging effect of the waste, but HYSACAM has stayed adamant.
“We informed the quarter head about the abandoned and decaying waste scattered all over the street. He has called the HYSACAM office many times to inform them about this neglect, but we have not received any feedback from them till today. We have been carrying out community labour, we dug a pit where we have advised everyone to dump their waste inside.
The National Times visited the HYSACAM head office in Buea to know why the neighbourhoods have been abandoned for months.
The Director of HYSACAM Buea was not on seat but the National Times spoke to small of the staff who requested for anonymity.
“Yes, it is true that we have not been to those areas for months. It is because of the escalating nature of the Anglophone Crisis. There are daily confrontations between the military and the pro-independence fighters, rampant gunshots. We are afraid of been caught by stray bullets”, our source affirmed.
Another source revealed that they were almost shot in one of the confrontations. “My colleague and I were almost shot in Muea during a gun battle between the pro-independence fighters and the military. We were around the Muea Market, cleaning the area when we had gunshots towards our direction. Some of the bullets hit our truck; we managed to escape and vowed never to go to those areas until the crisis is resolved”.
With the deteriorating nature of the Crisis with daily gunshots emanating from these areas, it is obvious that the HYSACAM will not come to the aid of the inhabitants anytime soon.