Yaoundé is crumbling under the weight of garbage 74 days before the so-called Total Energies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament scheduled from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
Garbage collectors in the capital city are on strike and workers of the company Hysacam are demanding three months of salary and better working conditions.
Cameroon Concord News understands the garbage collectors serving with Hysacam have been on strike for several days now and mountains of garbage have formed in the outskirts and popular areas of the city.
The city center is the most affected area with shopkeepers and customers breathing the polluted air and all the pestilential smells that the mountains of garbage give off.
Our Yaoundé city reporter says the nation’s capital is overflowing with garbage and for the past five days, cab drivers including highly placed government officials have been driving in the garbage.
A betting box owner at marché Mokolo revealed that businessmen and women are suffocating under the terrible smell. “It is increasingly painful to work in these conditions as customers do not even come anymore” the young man added.
Traders in the main market opposite the prime minister’s office are obliged to put a disposable handkerchief in front of their noses to breathe amid a crisis that involves at least 4000 tons of abandoned waste.
Hysacam has been in charge of collecting household waste since 1969. The company operates in about 20 cities in Cameroon. It collects more than 4,000 tons of waste per day in all the cities where it is located.
Anger is rising throughout the country a few days before the 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament that the country will host. The authorities are being accused of laxity.
Last Thursday, Celestine Courtès, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, made it seem as if the problem had been solved. On Wednesday, Hysacam has still not resumed service. The company is claiming several billion CFA francs of unpaid bills from the Government Delegate to the Yaoundé City Council and the corrupt CPDM regime.
By Rita Akana