Cameroon: Authorities Promise Compensation After Bamenda Market Fire

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Cameroon

One week after the fire that devastated a section of the main market in the capital of the Anglophone region of the Northwest, authorities promise that the victims will be compensated. Approximately three hundred shops went up in flames on February 22, with around thirty people hospitalized before returning home. On Wednesday, February 28th, the prefect of the Mezam department, Simon Émile Moh, visited the site to assess the damage.

“Another crisis within the crisis,” is how Rodrigue, 45, describes the sentiment of many fellow merchants like him in the capital of a region mourning the conflict between government forces and armed groups. “Here at the market, it was one of the major points of commerce in the Northwest. How will people manage? How will they cope? I’ve lost almost everything – equipment, money, and many confidential documents. I’m pondering, I don’t know where to begin. It’s very difficult.”

A commission will assess the damages

On-site, the prefect met with Che Godwill, president of the Bamenda traders’ association, who emphasized that the city has long been a commercial hub for trade between Cameroon and Nigeria. “Now that we are at war, there are people who have already lost everything elsewhere and rely solely on the market to survive. Almost half of this market has burned down. We don’t even know where to begin, we can only pray for God and people to come to our aid. Many people still don’t know where to start, and that deeply affects us.”

The day after the spectacular fire a week ago, the governor of the region, Adolph Lele L’Afrique, came to convey a message of support from President Paul Biya: “The head of state, upon being informed, asked me to express his deep sadness, as well as his wife’s. He instructed us to identify the victims. The government will help them, accompany them in their despair.” A commission is announced to evaluate the damages suffered by the merchants.

Weafrica24

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