Douala Sanitation Day: A mockery of sanitation! 0

When officials of Cameroon’s largest city, Douala, instituted a sanitation day which is supposed to take place every Thursday, many in the city were elated, hoping that such an action would roll back the garbage that lined the city’s streets.

But this hope has been short-lived as the sanitation day is being used by alcohol addicts in the city to recover after heavy drinking every Wednesday evening.

Like most laws in Cameroon, the Douala City’s bylaw on sanitation lacks teeth as there are no enforcement mechanisms. The city’s officials have good intentions, but they lack the means to enforce their own laws.

They made the law without thinking of how to enforce it and today, many residents of Douala are simply not participating in the effort and there are no consequences for non-compliance.

Douala City officials have to go back to the drawing board to see how they can ensure that residents see that the sanitation day is in their best interest.

The Douala Sanitation Day has delivered some results but there is more to be done. Douala as a city is still very dirty. Resident dump their garbage on the streets everyday instead of keeping it at home until the garbage trucks come for the garbage.

According to analysts and observers, the city’s garbage issue is a real millstone around the necks of the population. Each day, thousands of Douala residents get hit by malaria due to poor sanitation and this is taking a toll on the people’s meager salaries.

Children and women are the hardest hit by malaria and deaths from malaria are always in the thousands in a city whose sanitation situation will not be improving as planned by city officials because most of the population does not pull its fair share of the weight.

More needs to be done in terms of enforcement if the city’s sanitation law has to deliver real results.

Alain A. Ebot