By Moma Sandrine
Following the sociopolitical crises plaguing the North West region of Cameroon, it has been challenging for the waste management company, HYSACAM to properly dispose of waste. This as, they have been subject to threats or attacks from separatist fighters.
Recently, one of their garbage collecting trucks was set ablaze and one of their workers was injured. To this effect, HYSACAM is faced with the difficulty of clearing waste off the streets of Bamenda. For more than a month, HYSACAM has been off the streets of Bamenda. This has left garbage heaps in most parts of the town. The stench produced from this piled dirt is unavoidably choking.
On Friday February 15, some military officers began clearing garbage off the streets of Bamenda. They were working under the instructions of General Agha Robinson Ndong, Commander of newly created 5th military region.
It was a great relief for the population around Bamenda food market when military officers began clearing the heaps of dirt that had been piled in front of their business places “we are happy that finally the garbage heaps are being cleared. It is of great relief to us. The smell from the dirt alone could cause a miscarriage,“ Madam Lum, a trader at Bamenda Food Market said. Many other traders expressed their satisfaction to see the military carrying out a humanitarian act. To them, the military should do more of such acts “we are very happy. In fact of the military can continue doing things like this, we will stand by them. The dirt was really much and it is quite relieving to have it cleared. At least we now have space to display our items. We are grateful and we really thank the military.”
A senior warrant officer, Taku Paul Buifor explained to the press the reason for the clearing of the garbage “The hierarchy of the military in the North West Region has deemed it necessary to carry out this humanitarian act because the prevailing situation has caused so many public disorders. Dumping garbage and the population cannot carry out their activities freely. So the hierarchy has decided to send the soldiers to go and free the garbage so that it will permit the population to carry out their activities freely and to gain more confidence in the military.” When asked if the military was coming in to replace HYSACAM, he gave this response “we are not here to replace HYSACAM. With the prevailing situation, we cannot allow the population to be suffering.”
It should be recalled that HYSACAM is a private owned company and was contracted by the Bamenda City council to manage waste in the town. They had been carrying out their duties effectively till the crisis in the region aggravated.