MINHDU in search of prudent urbanization strategies

The fast developing rate of the Southwest Region and attendant problems that the phenomenon is likely to pose subsequently, is what prompted the Southwest Regional Delegation of Housing and Urban Development to organize a one day Regional consultations for the elaboration of the national urban policy for Cameroon aimed. It was aimed at carrying out a diagnostic report that should formulate the fundamental streamlines and instruments of national urban policy.
Speaking in Buea Monday, June 4, Diang Jude Abungwo of 2e and Partners Consultancy firm charged with the responsibility of coming forth with an urban national policy for Cameroon revealed that as of now there is no existing national urban policy for Cameroon. He said even though some Regions do have certain development urban plans, there isn’t any that is national urban. It was their responsibility at the level of the consultancy firm, he said, to bring in their technical knowhow and expertise to be able to come forth with it.
He said that the national urban policy is going to contain the methodology which they are to use at various levels with various stakeholders in a bid to see how the Region can become urbanized.
Asked why some buildings in Buea are erected on marshy terrain, Diang stated that it is at the level of non respect of rules and regulations. He said denizens are the first to be blamed. He said the issue of slums is a terrible one plaguing the country as they are seen almost everywhere with some neighbourhoods emanating from it.
He added that Cameroonian cities are extending vastly and that under normal circumstances, such cities are supposed to extend vertically and not horizontally. Consequently, to be control is required if only to avert bigger problems in the future. He said that urbanization in 2010 stood at 52 percent and wondered what would happen if it jumps to 80 percent. Cameroon, he advised, must be able to control that in order to become emergent in 2035, since prudent urbanization is such a key aspect which cannot be circumvented.
Emile-Moise Endene Kotto, Southwest Regional Delegate of Housing and Urban Development, noted that urbanization is speedily growing in the Southwest Region. The Region’s demographic landscape has changed, due to the high urban growth rate with which towns are expanding alongside drastic change of social, cultural and economic structures.
Endene Kotto pointed out that urbanization in the Region is still to bring inclusive growth which in turn has resulted in proliferation of slums, urban poverty, rising inequality and insecurity. Hence, consultation is a step in a long process, enabling both the Government of Cameroon and UN-HABITAT to come out with a consensual diagnosis on urban issues, and which process is expected to take them to an adequate and reliable urban policy.
Bernard Okalia Bilai, Southwest Governor, said Cameroon, like many other developing countries experiences rampant urbanization with a demography explosion. According to him, since 2008, more than half of the world’s population lives in camps. In 2050 about 70 percent of the world’s population would be living in urban areas, he revealed. Narrowing down to Cameroon, he stated that according to the National Institute of Statistics, urbanization rate was at 52 percent in 2010 while demographic growth stood at 2.5 percent in 2014.
“Many challenges remain to be faced in the country, reason why Mr. Biya, through various stakeholders has embarked on mastering the development of towns to transforming them into production and consumption centres necessary to boost industries, promote the development of intermediary or secondary camps, while endeavouring to structure economic activities in urban areas and contribute to the development of surrounding rural areas.
By Relindise Ebune

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply