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Buildings and roads submerged in Douala after days of heavy rains

Buildings and roads submerged in Douala after days of heavy rains

Cameroon

Several roads and buildings in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala have been submerged following days of heavy rains.

Scores of residents were reportedly trapped in their homes, unable to come out.

Local media reports say a 2-year-old baby drowned as a result of the flooding.

This is however not the first time Douala has been flooded. In June 2015, at least 150,000 acres of land was inundated after heavy rains killing at least four people – the most destructive flood to have hit the city.

Last year’s flooding in Douala was linked to several factors including climate change, deforestation and rapid urbanization as well as poor town planning.

Residents are therefore calling on the government to find a more lasting solution to the flooding situation like improving drainage infrastructure.

Sona Albert, a resident of Missoke said: “We didn’t have this problem before. It’s only after they finished building this road that the problems started because they didn’t make a passage for the water but instead re-routed it into the lake.”

“I have been working and trying to empty the house of water since this morning,” said Marc Tchouffack a resident of Bonapriso.

Rescue teams including personnel from the fire service and navy deployed to evacuate residents as many roads remain inaccessible say the situation is improving in other parts of the city.

“After we did our rounds, we realized that the Missoke neighbourhood was the most affected. Here, nobody is getting through, not even vehicles. But elsewhere, the situation is better. Just as the commander said, no one is trapped anymore. All those who were trapped have been rescued,” said Captain Afuh Hanfen, a fire fighter.

Douala with a population of over 3 million is one of the most densely populated cities in Cameroon.

The national capital, Yaounde is also experiencing heavy rains in what is expected to be a worse rainy season for Cameroon.