World Habitat Day: Cleaner cities, Cameroon’s credo

Cameroon joined the international community this Monday 7th October to commemorate World Habitat Day.

Week long activities organised with focus on management of waste in urban areas were organised under the theme, “Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth.”

Speakers at the official ceremony organised in Yaounde focused on ways of transforming waste to wealth.

Among the many speakers was Allegra Baiocchi, Resident Coordinator of the UN system and Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon.

She said WHD solutions to managing waste must begin with small steps to alter the way our cities are managed.

Allegra Baiocchi said individuals must reduce the amount of waste produced and also learn to transform the waste to valuable resource through recycling it to obtain energy.

She proposed sensors and artificial intelligence as means to reduce waste production.

On the occasion, a video message from the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Maimunah Mohd Sharif in Nairobi Kenya was screened.

In the message, she encouraged Cameroon in her efforts at reducing and transforming waste in different cities, calling for an inclusive approach.

“I am glad to hear that several cities and towns in Cameroon have joined the #WasteWiseCities campaign. We must remember the need to integrate women, youth and people with disabilities in the process.”

Another speaker at the commemoration was football icon Roger Milla, the Roving Ambassador.

He presented a project initiated by his organisation Coeur d’Afrique (Heart of Africa).

The project was initiated to cushion the effects of flood prone areas like Yaounde, while fighting youth unemployment through the picking up of waste plastics.

Roger Milla stated that, since the beginning of the project;

# More than 1500 youths have been trained in creating pavement blocks using plastic waste

# More than twenty thousand tons of dirt have been collected nationwide.

He called for a synergy in action amongst all stakeholders involved in the waste disposal chain.

Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development Celestine Ketcha Courtes expressed gratitude to all actors committed to the clean cities campaign.

She said government is resolved to improve the waste disposal scheme. She once exhorted different actors not to relent.

Bruno Ndonwie Funwie

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