Cameroon: Looking for a shelter

Everybody has the right to have a house (shelter). We all know that. But when we look around us, particularly for those who live in Africa, we observe that, this is one of the less respected human rights.

What’s happening in Kibera the bigest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, has some similarities with something that happened here in Yaoundé, Cameroon, last year.

Due to the will of the Urban Council to implement urbanisation projects/programs, through its projects named Yaoundé Horizon 2020 (Schéma Directeur d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme – SDAU ) (in French) , many slums have been destroyed, particularly in areas like Ntaba, Ekoudou (some of the most populated slums in Yaoundé) and hundreds of people soon became homeless.

Same scenario took place in Douala (the economic capital of Cameroon), where people, and whole families have been skedaddled out the University neighbourhood in March 2010 by the Urban Council too. Of course! Here, by doing this, they pretended that the University needed new buildings which should be built sooner, for academic purposes. I’m not against the fact that they want to extend the University. But…

I think, the real problem is not just about the fact that hundreds of people are displaced, but about their RELOCATION. Because here in Cameroon, like in some other african countries, there were no relocation plan, and those people at a moment’s notice, became homeless…and most of them are still homeless now. Isn’t that an injustice?

And till now, most of those displaced people have been neither indemnified nor relocated.

I can’t even imagine how it feels like (for them) to live in such a frame of mind. Aren’t they humans like all of us?


4 Réponses

  1. Phil, thanks for highlighting this. Focus is often on the beauty of the town than on its dwellers. A beautiful town at the expense of the poor always.
    Slum dwellers have a right to shelter and ofcource a healthy environment. There is no need struggling to combart malaria, cholera and co’s when slums breed the disease vectors,viruses and/or bacteria.
    Dignity for slum dwellers!!!!

  2. Thanks for the post Philippe!
    It is very upsetting to hear of the eviction of people living in slums in Yaounde and Douala. We need to call on the government to end these forced evictions and to ensure basic services to people living in slums.
    As you mentioned, very similar to what is happening in Nairobi, see Amnesty International’s appeal for action here;

  3. Hi, Phillipe!

    When ‘officialdom’ evicts people in the name of improving on the beauty of a town, like Luma, mentions above, what is the point, when it does this by causing misery and mayhem to the very people who are supposed to appreciate this so-called ‘beauty’?

    The same thing is done here in Kenya, too and not just in Nairobi.

    The poor people, who are in the majority, have no resort to justice because it is very expensive as well as the people themselves are unaware of their rights due to being semi- or illiterate.

    Hence, my write up about affordable roofs, last week and pre-fabricated housing.

    • Yes. You’re right.
      And this is common to many african countries.
      It’s so sad, and i really hope that we’ll overcome one day. But we have a lot of work to do to stop all these abuses and those injustices.
      I’ve read your post on affordable roofs and i found it very interesting.

      Together, we’ll overcome


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