Mudslides and Flooding in Yaoundé, Cameroon 2023
Days of heavy rain in the city of Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon, caused mudslides and flooding in hillside communities in the Mbankolo neighbourhood in the Yaoundé II district on the outskirts of the city.
The disaster occurred late on 08 October 2023. Cameroon Minister of Territorial Administration (MINAT), Atanga Nji Paul, visited the affected area on 09 October. (link: https://www.facebook.com/Minat.gov.cm/posts/pfbid0z18isfrBAmgw7Fa2wsjcPy5vdV6kaJUQDof6jBwLsYuaQbGQmkXWx92pH2HzgpiLl )
The Minister confirmed that 30 people had lost their lives in the tragedy and more were feared missing. Rescue teams searched for victims trapped under the debris and collapsed buildings.
The Red Cross reported more than 700 people from 110 households were affected. Around 35 people were reported injured, 27 homes were completely destroyed and 30 others severely damaged. Some of the damage homes were considered too dangerous for habitation and were marked to be destroyed according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development .
Minister Atanga Nji Paul said the incident was caused by heavy rain and run-off which destroyed a water retention dam at Nkol Etam, which in turn triggered a torrent of mud and flood waters down the slopes in the area to settlements of Mbankolo district below.
MINAT said 57 families were displaced by the floods. A temporary shelter was set up in the Komkana neighbourhood, not far from the disaster site, to house some of those displaced. The government distributed aid and relief items to affected families, including food, soap and blankets.
“These people have lost almost everything, as their belongings were swept away by the waters and mudslides. The rains continue and the risk of weakened houses remains,” the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies said. (link: https://reliefweb.int/report/cameroon/cameroon-landslide-2023-dref-operation-mdrcm036 )
MINAT Minister Atanga Nji Paul said the government were assisting 42 families in finding new homes in safer locations away from the slopes of Mbankolo. (link: https://www.facebook.com/Minat.gov.cm/posts/pfbid02CfhT2DnLy6ZAWhp6M6HRrSNEJSbCW7oVHArY3ivScWhPh8npbkeZjB6ahpN33CZfl )
The city has seen similar tragic incidents in recent times. A massive landslide struck in the Antenne Damas neighbourhood in the city of Yaoundé on 27 November 2022. At least 14 people lost their lives. The victims were gathered for a religious service near a soccer pitch at the base of a 20 metre high soil embankment, which then collapsed. (link: https://floodlist.com/africa/cameroon-landslide-yaounde-november-2022 )
Image 1: Search and rescue operations in the aftermath of floods and landslides in Mbankolo in Yaoundé, Cameroon, October 2023 Photo Ministère de l’Administration Territoriale du Cameroun
Images 2 and 3: Search and rescue operations in the aftermath of floods and landslides in Mbankolo in Yaoundé, Cameroon, October 2023. Photo: Croix-Rouge Camerounaise
By Richard Davies Nov. 13, 2023, 2:01 p.m.