Yaounde is the capital city of Cameroon and many expect it to be the epitome of ‘riches’ in Cameroon however, this is not completely the case.
The town just like Paris, New York and London, has those swampy and inaccessible areas tagged poor neighbourhoods, slums or shanty towns.
From smelly gutters to houses situated in swamps, uncontrollable mosquitoes and rats, such neighbourhoods do tell a story of their own.
Take a walk to Mokolo Elobi, Bastos Elobi, Briquiterie and Elig Edzoa amongst others in Yaounde and discover for yourself.
People living in such swampy areas suffer from floods during heavy rains.
If they survive the floods, they still face the risks of malaria due to the breeding of mosquitoes in the surrounding filth.
Cholera, dysentery and typhoid also loom around such places since food and filth cohabit with external toilets poorly managed, leading to the contamination of food and water.
Pipe borne or other potable water is usually a luxury here as many depend on wells.
Electricity is generally not absent yet the mode of its connection and the interweaving of cables pave the way for electric shocks and fire.
Even the location of houses is a cause for concern as sometimes, one’s living room is just beside a poorly managed pit toilet and rainwater from one’s roof drips into another’s house.
Most of those living in such areas do informal jobs and seem least worried about their environment and impeding health hazards.
Children play around in dirt and cooking is done with little or no concern for hygiene.
The existence of such neighbourhoods in the heart of urban areas is an indication that the SDG1 of ‘Ending Poverty in all its Forms Everywhere’ still has a long way to becoming a reality.
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi