In Cameroon’s capital city, Yaoundé, many have no choice but to leave their rubbish out on the street.
Many rubbish containers have been full for several days. It’s a similar scenario in many streets.
In Douala, the commercial capital, the situation is even worse. There are piles of rubbish on the streets and this is a problem for many residents.
“It really prevents us from working, see how it blocks traffic? We can’t move around because of the rubbish. We don’t know what the government is waiting for because it’s everywhere, not only here in Douala. How can we be organising the CAN when Douala is so dirty?” asks David Mouamba, a resident of Douala.
In certain neighbourhoods, for example, it has become difficult to circulate on the road, not to mention the consequences for public health.
“It’s the same situation at the central market, the same with the market at the New Bell station and there it’s even very serious. I implore the authorities to do something because not only is there pollution, there are smells and there are also insects that bring disease. We are afraid of malaria and there are houses in the area,” pleads another resident of Douala, Mr Aboya.
The employees of the company in charge of the household waste collection have been on strike for almost two weeks.
They are demanding three months of salary arrears, recharging and performance bonuses, to name but a few.
“We have been claiming three months of unpaid wages. For more than 10 years, we work two months and they only pay one. But this time they have gone too far, we have gone three months without pay. Our children are not at school, we are frustrated, we have colleagues who are in prison”, said one of the strikers who didn’t want to be identified.
Negotiations have reached a dead end, strikers remain entrenched in their positions.
Up until now, a solution has never been found even if the company keeps promising that things will go back to normal in the next few days.
For the time being the strike is only affecting waste collection in the two main cities.
Africanews local correspondent Joel Honore Kouam adds: “This is what Douala looks like for the past few days. It is now a city of rubbish, and the same is true of the political capital Yaounde. Indeed, the rubbish collectors of the company in charge of the household waste collection have been on strike for days. The employees claim unpaid salaries. The situation is confusing and complicated to the point where it is difficult to circulate in some areas of Douala like this one. The strikers are clear that they will not resume work until their demands are met”.