Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
A critical assessment of disaster risk managemeng in cameroon
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

A critical assessment of disaster risk managemeng in cameroon


Published on



Published in: Business

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 1 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG END OF COURSE PROJECT; INTRODUCTION TO DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT WORLD BANK INSTITUTE Case Study; A CRTICAL ASSESSMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN CAMEROON 1.0 BACK GROUND INFORMATION OF CAMEROON In brief Cameroon historically was colonizes by two European countries Britain and France. After the partition of Africa Cameroon was administer as two separate states the south ruled by the British and north ruled by the French. In 1960 and 1961 French and British Cameroons gained independence respectively, reunify 1972 to become the republic of Cameroon. Broadly speaking, the climate of Cameroon splits into two: (I) the tropical climate of the north has a single; light wet season and high temperatures (averaging 30°C) which increase in the dry regions to the far north (ii) The moderated climate of the south has fairly constant temperatures (averaging 26°C) and two wet seasons with heavy, regular rains influenced by the sea and land elevations. Cameroon Climate shows that the average temperature of the coastal plain ranges from 22 degree to 29 degree C. The coastal area receives 250 to 400 cm rainfall, while the inland area receives 150 to 250 cm rainfall. The Mount Cameroon receives 600 to 900 cm rainfall in a year. According to the climate in Cameroon the southern part has got two dry seasons from November to March and June to August. The climate of the northern part is comparatively comfortable. The temperature varies from 23 degree to 26 degree C. These central plateaus receive 150 cm to 60 cm rainfall a year. The dry season of this region continues from October to March. With the surface land size of 183,568 sq mi (475,440 km2 ) Cameroon is the world's 53rd largest country on earth. Cameroon is sometimes described as "Africa in miniature" because it exhibits all the major climates and vegetation of the continent: mountains, desert, rain forest, savanna grassland, and ocean coastland. Cameroon can be divided into five geographic zones. These are distinguished by dominant physical, climatic, and vegetative features. Ranked by the IFC and World Bank 168 position of 189 economies in 2014, Cameroon uses the CFA Franc as the monetary currency. Cameroon remains one of the lowest- ranked economies on the World Bank's annual Doing Business and similar surveys and regularly ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world. Over the last 3 years, GDP growth has averaged around 2%-3%, which is roughly on par with population growth but not enough to significantly reduce high poverty levels.
  • 2. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 2 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG The rural sector or the microeconomic sector of Cameroon plays an important role to the development of the economy. We should not forget that is still an agricultural economy where we depend mostly in the exportation of cash crops such coffee, cocoa, rubber, banana, and tea. Cameroon due its location is prone to many natural disasters looking at those that have occurred in the last decade that is from 2004 till date; the flood of Far north of Cameroon 2012 the most recent, Flood 2007/2008 and 2010 in Yaounde, cholera epidemic of 2004/2010, and measles epidemic of the far north in 2008-2009 2.0 BRIEF DESSCRIPTION OF A SELECTED DISASTER EVENT 2.1 CASE STUDY: Flood in the Far North Region of Cameroon 2012; Following heavy rains and flooding in late August and September 2012, flood emergencies were declared in the North and Far North regions of Cameroon. The estimated number of flood-displaced people reached 88,640 (50,824 people in the North and 37,816 in the Far North region). Starting in mid-October, areas around the district of Logone and Chari Department along the northern border with Chad experienced further flooding. Water levels started to decrease in many areas in early November. More than 30 persons were killed by the flood1 . Continuous rainfall and the release of the Ladgo Dam caused the Benoe River to burst its banks, which flooded neighbouring residential areas. Faro, Mayo Louti, and Benoue areas were most hard-hit by the floods, destroying crop and rice fields thus causing shortages of food supplies. Due to the concern of infections such as cholera and malaria being spread through flood waters, the rescue operations more than 2,500 people were medically treated and placed into tents. More than 4,000 people in the Logone and Shari division were displaced, and more than 22,000 people in the region of Maga, Mayo-Danay division, were affected. Dana FM, a local radio station, gave reports during the flood that the death toll may grow as bodies are collected and identified as the flood lasted for weeks. The government of Cameroon's dispatched a military contingent to the area to help and evacuate victims, and the government of Morocco sent food and other aid Saturday. Aid agencies like Plan International Cameroon the Red Cross and the United Nations Population Fund were concerned about the potential spread of infectious diseases such as cholera and malaria and food supply to avoid malnutrition for children as statistic proved that about 3,000 people were hospitalized. In neighboring Nigeria, dozens of dead bodies were found floating in remote areas of Adamawa state. Officials there blamed Cameroon for not alerting them before excess water was released from the Lagdo Dam. The disaster is being called the worst flooding in Cameroon in more than 60 years.
  • 3. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 3 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG 3.0 AN OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Cameroon’s legislative and administrative framework for the governance of disaster risk has been integrated into the government administrative machinery in the country. Disaster and risk management is carried out by several agencies (government ministries, national organs, and local government) in collaboration with scientists, humanitarian’s organizations and international partners. The impact of natural disasters in Cameroon continues to hit local communities hardest, but local government lack the ability to manage disaster risks adequately that is why DRM is been handled at the national level. This is partly due to the fact that the necessity to mainstream DRR into local government and development practices is not yet an underlying principle in Cameroon’s disaster management framework. Cameroon has reinvigorated efforts to address growing disaster risks in a proactive way; it is argue that the practical actions are more reactive than proactive in nature2 . 3.1. The Legal Firework and existing legislations The Disaster Management System in Cameroon derives from Law No. 86-16 of 6 December 1986 to reorganize civil protection; Law No. 98-15 of 14 July 1998 relating to establishments classified as dangerous, unhealthy or obnoxious, Decree No. 98-31 of 9 March 1998 to determine the organization of emergency and relief plans (ex post disaster measures), Decree No.96/054 of 12 March 1996 to determine the composition and duties of the National Council for Civil Protection, and Decree No. 2004/99 of 26 April 2004 to reorganize the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD). It is a “top down” hierarchical structure which puts more emphasis on disaster response than prevention and mitigation3 . 3.1.2 National disaster management system; characteristics organizational structure, existing legislation, policies, strategies By virtue of this legal framework, the President of the Republic, assisted by the National Council for Civil Protection (DPC) defines policies relating to disaster risk management, and such policies are implemented by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD), under the Department of Disaster and Emergency Services (formally the Department for Civil Protection), and assisted by the de-concentrated services of a series of specialized ministries. MINATD itself is represented in the entire national territory by a network of 379 de-concentrated structures, which are responsible for the implementation of emergency response plans. Therefore, in the event of a disaster or grave danger, the emergency response plan is launched by: - the Divisional Officer at the divisional level; - the Governor at the provincial or regional level; - the Secretary -General of the Presidency at the national level. The emergency plan is launched only when the competent authority (Divisional Officer, Governor, and Secretary General) has reliable and irrefutable information on the nature and scope of the disaster or grave danger. The competent authority takes the following measures:
  • 4. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 4 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG - sends out the alert; - promptly initiates emergency relief activities; - informs higher authorities; - mobilizes the necessary human, material and financial resources; - promptly convenes the Crisis Commission; - informs the general public. The Crisis Commission is responsible, in particular, for: - co-coordinating public relief action; - directing relief operations; - preparing rescue facilities; - forwarding relief to the disaster area; - determining the assistance and relief needs of victims; - assessing the immediate and after effects of the disaster; - managing all the human, material and financial resources provided for the circumstance by the government authorities, public or private international organizations and, in general, all gifts and legacies. The overall coordination of the disaster management system lies with the Department of the Direction de la Protection Cilvile (DPC), which is the nodal agency for disaster management in Cameroon. The responsibilities of the DPC incorporate the key elements of disaster risk management, including risk identification, mitigation, risk transfer (calamity funds), preparedness, emergency response, rehabilitation and construction. In brief, the DPC is responsible for: -general organization of disaster and emergency services in the entire country; -studies on disaster and emergency measures both in times of war and of peace; -relations with national and international disaster and emergency service organizations; -preparing training courses for disaster and emergency services staff, in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources of MINATD; -examining requests for compensation and financial assistance from disaster victims; -controlling the use of aid; -coordinating resources deployed for disaster and emergency services, notably relief, rescue, logistics, use of back-up and auxiliary forces; -transporting bodies; -monitoring the management of aid4 . 4.0 POWER RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIABILITIES DISTRIBUTION (centralized, decentralized, hierarchical, bottom up, top down, coercive corporative) 4.1 The Intervention Strategy 4.1.1. Before disasters: it promotes disaster prevention/mitigation mainly through information, awareness-raising, sensitization and education. Activities relating to prevention, mitigation and preparedness include: -The organization of the National Day for Civil Protection on 01 March each year and the organization of the International Day for Disaster Reduction on 09 October in the Headquarters of the 58 Divisions in Cameroon each year. Both events are marked by speeches and the dissemination of messages relating to disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness, and the formation of networks of civil protection
  • 5. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 5 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG communicators; -The institution of a service in the DPC, to work during weekends and public holidays, with the objective of collecting, analysing, disseminating and storing information on disasters/risks that may occur during weekends and public holidays; -The publication of a Report on the State of Civil Protection in Cameroon, which incorporates guidelines for disaster risk management for administrative officials; -The completion of sectoral disaster Contingency Plans for Cameroon; -Conduct a national workshop for the participatory identification of the requirements for the set up of a National Observatory for Disaster Risk Prevention and the National Programme for the Prevention and Management of Disasters (notably in collaboration with UNDP) in Cameroon; 4.1.2. During disasters: implementation of emergency response programmes (Sectoral Contingency Plans) for efficient and effective disaster management. Activities include the on-the-spot coordination of emergency responses, search and rescue operations. 4.1.3. After disasters: performing activities relating to compensation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, in particular: 5.0 DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN CAMEROON (with the involvement of public & private sectors NGOs communities) MITIGATING RISK, TRANSFER, PREPAREDNESS. 5.1 The institutions and actors in disaster risk management in Cameroon include: -Emergency and Disaster management in Cameroon is the responsibility of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINATD) through, The Department of Civil Protection and The National Risks Observatory (DPC) -Other actors: The national fire brigade, the national police force, The Red Cross organization, The Non Governmental Organisations, The Emergency Health Service, The military contingent. 5.1.1. The Ministries/organs involved in disaster management in Cameroon -The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation (MINATD, which is responsible for the coordination of disaster management; -The Ministry of Defense, which is often called upon to provide forces for search and rescue operations; -The Ministry of Public Health, which is responsible for the provision of drugs for disaster victims; -The Ministry of Town Planning and Housing, which is responsible for the implementation of town planning, land use regulations and building codes; -The Ministry of Transports, which is responsible for the implementation of safety campaigns in the transportation sector; -The Ministry of Social Affairs contributes to the rehabilitation of disaster victims; -The Ministry of Scientific and Technical Research and its Research Institutions are responsible for the conduct of research on disaster risk and the installation of early warning systems; -Though the role of local authorities is not very explicit in the legislation, they have
  • 6. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 6 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG been instrumental in prevention and mitigation, because they are closest to the communities and have good knowledge of local context and realities. Therefore there are the first to give first information to the local administrative authority of the MINADT representative in their locality. -Other Ministries that are the members of the National Council for Civil Protection 5.1.2. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are prominent in the provision of humanitarian assistance and conduct of disaster prevention training programmes in Cameroon; The collaboration and support of UNDP have been crucial in the conduct of two national workshops on the participatory identification of the requirements for the set up of a National Observatory for Disaster Risk Prevention; the provision of technical expertise for the preparation of the National Programme for the Prevention and Management of Disasters in Cameroon; and the publication of a document on the State of Civil Protection in Cameroon. -Civil societies get involve in DRM and DRR as stakeholders they align their endeavours, contribution and participation with aid that they receive from donor organizations and private companies involve in developmental process through corporate social responsibility obligations. -Private sector involvement to DRM and DRR is most at times solely as a form of corporate social responsible and requirement for their operation The financing of this system is borne by the relief and calamity funds of the DPC and international assistance. The interaction of all these actors has been presented in the structure of disaster management in Cameroon 6.0 STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSES OF THE IN LIGHT OF THE CATASTROPHIC EVENT (The flood of Far North Cameroon 2012) 6.1. THE STRENGTHS OF THE ABOVE SYSTEM -Though the Direction de la Protection Civille (DPC) was initially set up to response to disasters risks, it is gradually shifting to, and placing more emphasis on proactive disaster management (disaster related capacity enhancement, prevention and mitigation), notably following the reforms of MINATD. The DPC is also the formalised coordination agency for disaster management in Cameroon. The system is built on a disaster strategy that covers prevention, mitigation preparedness, emergency response, rehabilitation and reconstruction; -The DPC, as the nodal disaster management agency, has full time paid workers, some of which are scheduled to work even during weekends and public holidays, should a disaster occur during such periods; -The system is linked to the research institutions of the Ministry of Scientific and Technical Research, enabling government to benefit from advice in land use planning and mapping of risk prone areas; -The collaboration between public private and the plural sectors in DRM/DRR from top to bottom in Cameroon gives a plus to the system. Moreover, the Central Government has implicitly acknowledged that key players should be assigned specific duties so that they could be held accountable for action or inaction.
  • 7. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 7 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG 6.2. WEAKNESSES OF THE ABOVE SYSTEM -The role of the Ministry of Finance and the Budget (though it is a member of the National Council for Civil Protection) in ensuring that crucial financial resources are budgeted by all the ministries involved in disaster management is not evident in the above system; -The keeping of historical records, in the DPC, relating to DRM/MRR is poor, and the information on disasters is often incomplete, especially in terms statistics. -The DPC finds it difficult to implement structural and non-structural mitigation measures at the local level, especially as the role of local governments is not well defined in existing pieces of legislation; and though they are closest to the people and may have a good knowledge of local realities; -The insurance system is very under-developed implying that government bears the brunt of rehabilitation and reconstructions, because private sector involvement in risk transfer is limited. Moreover, the roles of NGOs, CBOs and the private sector are not indicated in the existing legislation. -This system lays more emphasis on ex post measures rather ex ante measures (prevention and mitigation). Local crisis commissions are set up and activated during disasters risks; and disbanded when the disaster risk is over, and their roles are limited to disaster risk response (ex post); moreover, Crisis commissions can only be set up by decision of the regional Governor at the regional level and by decision of the Divisional Officer at divisional level. The setting up of these Crisis commissions poses a problem when any of the competent authorities is not available or is preoccupied by other official matters; or when a disaster risk occurs during the weekend. This was the case with the Mount Cameroon eruption in 2000, which occurred when the Governor of the South West Region was on an official tour to the Lebialem Division, and therefore was unable to set up the Regional Crisis Commission in time -Financial resources for the implementation of this system come from the calamity budgetary head of the DPC. Often these resources are not disbursed in time; though it is common knowledge that the first 24 hours following a disaster are critical for search and rescue operations. -Politics pose’s a short coming in DRM/DRR in Cameroon as politicians use a disaster event for their political campaign. Take the case of the flood of September 2012 which occurred at the verge of the twin parliamentary and senate elections. The disaster affected area became a political campaign ground for politicians. -Corrupt practice is usual during implementation of the budget and gift donation to the affected community. Take for example mount Cameroon volcanic eruption of 1999 money was disburse to compensate house affected by earth tremor up till today there are some victims who have not received their compensation packages. 7.0 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT -The identification of short, medium and long term actions to be taken; the establishment of clear processes and procedures for decision making for disasters management to avoid overlap the responsibilities. -The indiscriminate building of houses in disaster prone in violation of town planning rules and regulations should be checked and if possible such houses should be demolished.
  • 8. Case Study; A critical Assessment of Disaster Management in Cameroon 8 PRESENTED BY; NEWTON BEZENG -The drainage system of cities and towns should be constructed taking into consideration the ease of maintenance and the possible future extension of the town and the drainage system itself; there is also the need for the regular cleaning of clogged water ways to avoid future floods. -Measures should be taken to increase the vegetation cover in the city especially around steep hilly sides, as this helps to reduce the speed of run-off water after rainfall -Government should set up permanent local emergency relief teams that can be activated in the event of a disaster; -The post DRM system should privatize to the private sector. I believe compensation and reconstruction can be well handled by insurers -Technical and professional training should be given to DRM/DRR participants from the community level to national level -The DPC should produce a detailed hazard-risk map of the country and highlight the disaster risks in each local government area -Involvement of CBOs and communities is necessary Sources; 1 2 Bang, H.N., 2013, ‘Governance of disaster risk reduction in Cameroon: The need to empower local government’, Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 5(2), Art. #77, 10 pages. jamba.v5i2.77 3 Decree No. 2004/320 of 08 December 2004 placed civil protection as the second most important function of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Rapport sur L’etat de la Protection Civil au Cameroon en 2002. Yaounde; MINAT?DPC,2003 4 An End-of-Course Case Study Submitted to the Department of City Management and Urban Development of the World Bank Institute in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of a Certificate in Natural Disaster Risk Management BY ELIAS NDIFOR AYANJI Trainer Local Government Training Centre (CEFAM), Buea. %3Aaccueil&lang=en A Critical Assessment of the N+atural Disaster Risk frame work in Cameroon by; Elias Ndifor Ayanji; Source; Abbreviations (DPC); Direction de la Protection Cilvile MINATD; Ministry of territorial Administration and Decentralisation DRM; Disaster Risk management DRR; Disaster Risk Reduction