Deadly week on Cameroon roads leaves over 90 deaths

Accident on Tiko - Douala Road  Photo: © Let's Rebuild Tiko

Accident on Tiko – Douala Road
Photo: © Let’s Rebuild Tiko

 The roads in Cameroon have claimed over 90 lives in three ghastly accidents between Saturday October 7 and October 12, 2013, on the Yaounde-Obala, Douala-Bafoussam and Tiko-Douala roads.

At least 50 people were reported dead and 76 others injured on Saturday 12 October in an accident involving workers of the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC.  The vehicle transporting some 120 CDC plantation workers went into a head on collision with a dump truck transporting sand at the Camp VIII junction on the Tiko-Doual Road. The corpses and survival were evacuated to the Tiko cottage Hospital.

The Douala-Bafoussam road in the early hours of Thursday October 10, claimed over 20 lives around the locality of Penja where a 70 seater bus on its way to Bonsoa in the west region ran into a truck alighting from a banana plantation. The fatal collision also left dozens of others injured and rushed to nearby hospitals. The accident blocked circulation between the Southwest and Littoral to the Zest and Northwest regions for several hours, forcing vehicles to arrive Bamenda several hours late.

Corpses been transported to the mortuary Photo: © Let's Rebuild Tiko

Corpses been transported to the mortuary
Photo: © Let’s Rebuild Tiko

On Saturday October 7, 19 people perished on the Yaounde – Obala road when a mini bus collided with another dump truck as it tried to overtake vehicle at an obscured stretch of the road.

The authorities have been battling hard to combat the several road accidents in Cameroon that claims over 1200 lives yearly according to statistics from the ministry of Transport. The government blames most of these accidents on human errors citing careless driving, intoxication and over speeding.

But many Cameroonians disagree with these numbers. Martial Missimikim, president of the NGO Securoute, faults the government figures.

 “Eighty percent of non-fatal accidents are not reported, and even when there are deaths, remains of victims are hurriedly evacuated and chances of compiling exact statistics are significantly reduced,”  claims Missimikim in a report his organisation published in 2008.

Road is the main means of transportation in Cameroon, but the roads are some of the narrowest in the world and are poorly maintained. The Bamenda-Bafoussam road is now in a state of advanced depreciation leading to several minor and unreported accidents daily.

By Abongwa Fozo

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