How a Dam Break Led to the Loss of at Least 30 Lives in Yaoundé

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

The latest report confirms at least 30 fatalities in the Mbankolo neighborhood, where a landslide occurred on October 8, 2023, in Yaoundé. How did a dam fail under the weight of floodwaters after three days of torrential rain?

Following a tragic landslide, residents were urged to evacuate the area. The incident, claiming 30 lives according to official figures, with dozens still missing, was triggered by a more than a century-old dam’s collapse.

The dam gave way under the pressure of floodwaters after three days of relentless rainfall. The water channels that allowed the passage of water had become blocked.

Over 24 hours after the tragedy, excavators joined the efforts of firefighters and volunteers. These machines are facilitating the restoration of the obstructed watercourse, which had been encroached upon by houses. The structures that withstood the landslide are set for demolition.

Serge Ndoh, a rescuer, explained his mission: “We are assisting people who have been evacuated, forced to leave their homes. We are helping them secure their belongings. Shortly, the equipment will demolish the homes, so people need to swiftly remove their possessions, and we are lending a hand in that process.”

Franck Biya, the son and advisor to the head of state, visited to greet the few affected individuals still present. He also held discussions with the mayor, who emphasized that this area is designated as non-constructible. The resettlement of residents was also a subject of consideration.

Soukaina Sghir

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