Climate change is real, and nature is reacting to man's aggression. The last four years have been the hottest on record, and the longer we move forward, the more the earth gives back to humankind what it has given it. This is manifested in the melting of slow-onset events such as desertification, ocean acidification, drought, and extreme events such as heavy rainfall leading to flooding. This was the case in Bonamoussadi, a district of Douala, Cameroon's economic capital, situated 3 meters above sea level.
The week of July 21 had been predicted as a week of heavy rainfall by the National Observatory on Climate Change, and this manifested itself and led to floods in the districts of Douala from July 21 to 22, 2023, following the example of Bonamousadi. Bonamousadi is the capital of the Douala 5 district, with a population of over 46,000. During the night of July 21, heavy rains fell in the town, causing floods that affected a quarter of the people, destroying and blocking traffic, contributing to the deterioration of the road system, seeping into houses, and causing damage.
On the same day, a flood was also recorded at the entrance to the town in the village neighbourhood, preventing vehicles from Yaounde and Edea from entering the city for over 5 hours. Damage to businesses was recorded in both villages but could not be quantified. Flooding, directly and indirectly, impacts the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery and the erosion and degradation of roads and buildings.
The situation is alarming as floods become increasingly frequent, leaving families homeless and sometimes with their homes entirely damaged by water and at the mercy of disease; some are losing their businesses as a source of income for themselves and their families.
According to forecasts by the National Observatory on Climate Change, it is likely that the situation will be repeated, not just in Bonamoussadi and the village but in all neighbourhoods of the city of Douala. It's time to take more action, among which is strengthening disaster prevention and mobilizing finance to manage loss and damage better.