Mayor threatens to destroy houses constructed for landslide victims

By Deng Eric in Yaounde

The mayor of Bafoussam III council in the West region, Daniel Ndefonkou, is threatening to destroy houses constructed for victims of the Ngouache landslide victims, for non-respect of building norms.

A Bafoussam inhabitant took to his facebook page recently to castigate the mayor saying “the mayor of Bafoussam III is threatening to raze eight houses that are near completion constructed for survivors of the Ngouache landslide because they have not ‘seen him’.  He has blocked work from advancing. There are people like these who are enemies of progress, enemies of the nation, and enemies of Cameroon”.

Mayor Ndefonkou who granted an interview to online newsite Cameroon-info.net said he ordered the stop on the construction because the plan wasn’t respected.

“We put up a building plan together and the survivors signed. This was in order to avoid constructing a bidonville where people will not be able to circulate. People went and started constructing in disorder. Those who are working there didn’t respect the plan. If the plan is not respected, the houses will be brought down. If we had destroyed Ngouache before, the unfortunate incident that happened there will not have taken place,” intimated the municipal authority.

Those carrying out the construction would have taken a building permit before going ahead with the project.

He said it’s absurd for people to be saying he wants to destroy the houses because those in charge have not “seen him”, adding that he didn’t ask for any franc. Mayor Ndefonkou said his interest is to see that the building norms and distance to the road are respected.

The “Rebuild Ngouache” project was launched by Alain Foka, journalist with French media outlet, Radio France Internationale, on December 23, 2019. The, event which took the phase of a musical concert, featured the presence of several dignitaries and celebrities with the likes of  Samuel Eto’o Fils  present and announcing he was going to put in 2 million FCFA yearly for the education of children who survived the landslide.

There were also promises of houses to be constructed for the survivors with persons of goodwill choosing to offer either roofing sheets, food, dresses and health assistance to those affected.

The Ngoauche landslide incident of October 28, 2019 is said to have claimed some 43 lives and destroyed 13 houses. The chief of the locality reportedly offered 17 hectares of land for the resettlement of the survivors which was cleared by the military engineering corps.

President Biya had in the aftermath of the tragedy ordered the disbursement of 200 million FCFA as assistance to the survivors.