By Isidore Abah, Tuesday Nov. 1, 2017
Southern Cameroons Journal, Buea – After a 2016 demolition that left thousands of denizens in Buea homeless, an atmosphere of uncertainty reigns again following news of another imminent demolition exercise by the Buea Council.
The demolition exercise has been triggered by the validation of a land use plan for Buea and a sector plan for the students’ residential neighbourhood of Molyko.
The feasibility studies for the project, carried out by Le Competing BET/BEFA Consulting Company, were validated by Councillors of the Buea Council on Friday, October 27, during an extra-ordinary council session chaired by Mayor Patrick Ekema Esunge and supervised by the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Fako, Emmanuel Engamba Ledoux.
Speaking during the session, Mayor Ekema bemoaned that the historic city of Buea is built in an anarchical manner, with infrastructure and other development setups criss-crossing the entire terrain.
Such chaotic buildings, according to the municipal authority, is the fallout of a missed opportunity to design a land use plan, which he said, is a framework guidance of the governing patterns of urban planning.
“Buea has lived a situation of haphazard construction of houses some of them in ravines or steep slopes or on runways. As the population continues to grow geometrically, challenges of water, proper housing and allocation of land for social amenities continue to mount in a setting of increasing land value.
“There is the evident absence of a clear-cut demarcation of land for public structures and especially roads, which are being traded-off by local authorities,” he said.
The Mayor further asserted that such jumbled up constructions pose a lot of security challenges, as the security operatives cannot easily access the various neighbourhoods.
He enumerated various events where security efforts have been foiled because of haphazard construction and said the Council is resolute to open up streets in Buea, especially Molyko which is the heartbeat of Buea.
In this regard, the Council’s sledge hammer will descend on any building that falls on the earmarked streets.
Meanwhile, Ekema lauded the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Jean Claude Mbwentchou, for allocating a huge chunk of the Ministry’s budget to transform Buea into an emerging city.
Councillors Vote FCFA10 Million for Mayor’s House Repairs
During the extra-ordinary Council session, Councillors of Buea voted FCFA 10 million and handed over to Mayor Ekema to enable him repair his vandalised residence and cars.
It would be recalled that during the September 22 peaceful demonstrations that swept across major towns in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, some irate demonstrators stormed Mayor Ekema’s residence and vandalised some of his cars.
In the wake of the incident, one person was allegedly shot dead by the Mayor.
Meanwhile, the Councillors’ FCFA 10 million gesture to the Mayor, comes on the heels of another FCFA 13 million that was given to the municipal authority by the Government Delegate to the Douala City Council, Dr. Fritz Ntone Ntone, on September 29, during a solidarity visit.
Mile 17 Motor Pack to Be Relocated
Another major decision that emerged from the Buea Council extra-ordinary session was the relocation of the Mile 17 Motor Park.
Even though no definite site has been chosen to host the motor park, the Mayor said the Council was resolute to relocate the Mile 17 Motor Park to transform the present site into the Buea Business Centre.