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doi:10.1111/disa.

12061

General overview of the disaster


management framework in Cameroon
Henry Ngenyam Bang Environmental Compliance and Risk Management
Consultant, ANOVO UK Ltd., United Kingdom

Efficient and effective disaster management will prevent many hazardous events from becoming
disasters. This paper constitutes the most comprehensive document on the natural disaster management framework of Cameroon. It reviews critically disaster management in Cameroon, examining the various legislative, institutional, and administrative frameworks that help to facilitate
the process. Furthermore, it illuminates the vital role that disaster managers at the national,
regional, and local level play to ease the process. Using empirical data, the study analyses the
efficiency and effectiveness of the actions of disaster managers. Its findings reveal inadequate disaster management policies, poor coordination between disaster management institutions at the
national level, the lack of trained disaster managers, a skewed disaster management system,
and a top-down hierarchical structure within Cameroons disaster management framework. By
scrutinising the disaster management framework of the country, policy recommendations based
on the research findings are made on the institutional and administrative frameworks.
Keywords: civil protection, disaster management, disaster management framework,
disaster risk management, hazard mitigation, risk assessment

Introduction
Cameroon is situated in Sub-Saharan Africa. This region of Africa is most vulnerable
to disasters because of the economic, environmental, physical, and social factors
that negatively affect the capacity of people to secure and protect their livelihoods
(Bhavnani et al., 2008). Although it may not be feasible to stop hazardous events from
occurring, efficient and effective disaster management will prevent many of them
from becoming disasters. Disaster management usually involves prediction, warning,
emergency relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. The main approach of disaster
risk reduction (DRR) is proactive engagement in all phases of the disaster cycle
(mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, as well as prevention). The objective
is to improve the safety, security, and economic stability of a country, region, city,
community, and/or society that is vulnerable to disaster risks. Since disasters constitute impediments to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNDP,
2004), development practices that inculcate risk management have been incorporated
in the disaster management cycle of DRR. Disaster risk management measures are
designed to protect livelihoods and the assets of communities through the process of
planning and the implementation of measures aimed at preventing/reducing the risk
of disasters, mitigating the severity/consequences of disasters, and achieving emergency preparedness and a rapid and effective response to disaster and post-disaster
Disasters, 2014, 38(3): 562586. 2014 The Author(s). Disasters Overseas Development Institute, 2014
Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

recovery and rehabilitation (Pelling, 2003; UNDP, 2004). The United Nations
International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR, 2005) recognises that
effective disaster management is a key element of good governance and governments
have been urged to make disaster mitigation a key element of their governance
programmes. Although there have been rapid advances in DRR and disaster management nationally and globally, empirical evidence points to several instances of
dysfunctional disaster management institutions at the global, regional, national, state,
and local level (Gopalakrishnan and Okada, 2007).
Each national government has primary responsibility for taking effective measures to reduce disaster risk in order to protect its population, infrastructure, and
other assets from the impacts of natural hazards and disasters (UNCED, 1992:
UNESCO, 1994; WCDR, 2005). Institutional capacity-building that involves a decentralised emergency management system, community participation, a legislative framework, training, education, knowledge-sharing, and international cooperation is
necessary to ensure a systematic, structured, and balanced approach to risk reduction
(World Bank, 2007). Many countries have a disaster management framework that is
enshrined in government policy, yet a wide gap still exists between theory, principles
embodied in disaster management, and implementation of disaster management
policies. Frequently this has led to governments being more reactive than proactive.
To meet the national and international challenges of disaster management, concerted action through bilateral, regional, and international cooperation and partnerships is needed. International organisations have been urged to mobilise adequate
resources, including financial, human, and technological means, to assist nations in
the field of disaster reduction. A particular focus of this initiative is to help those developing nations that are most vulnerable to the impacts of related hazards (UNESCO,
1994; WCDR, 2005).
Cameroon has reinvigorated its efforts to address growing disaster risks in a proactive way, including the development of strategies and mechanisms to reduce the
potential consequences of disasters prior to the event. In view of Cameroons high
exposure to natural hazards and disasters, the government has assumed primary
responsibility for creating and directing all of the various state institutions and administrative bodies involved in disaster management. The government also has established pragmatic partnerships with regional and global organisations that can assist
with DRR while providing overall development support. As will be shown later in
the paper, despite these measures, the country has failed to achieve reasonable success in disaster management.
The disaster management process generally pursues a top-down hierarchical approach
to the administration and implementation of activities, with more emphasis on disaster response than on risk prevention and mitigation. Although government policy
on civil protection in the country recognises other state and non-state actors, their
role in disaster management is not very clear. Empirical data, obtained from disaster
managers through fieldwork conducted over six months in Cameroon in 2007, reveal
lacunae in understanding, applying, and implementing policies, with potentially dire

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ramifications for the management of hazardous events. A review of disaster management institutions in Cameroon exposes significant flaws in their structure and
in their ability to contribute effectively to the implementation of DRR. By evaluating the various legislative, institutional, and administrative frameworks, this study
presents the case for a thorough overhaul of Cameroons institutional and administrative components of disaster management.
The disaster management framework assessed here includes the following themes:
civil protection in Cameroon;



legislation and policies;


institutions engaged in disaster management;
the administrative framework and power structure of Cameroon; and
the main actors involved in disaster management.

An appraisal of contemporary disaster management practices based on empirical


data also is presented, followed by some fundamental policy recommendations.

Civil protection in Cameroon


Civil protection is a common umbrella term that covers the risks posed by natural
hazards/disasters, technological hazards, biological hazards, and human-induced
hazards. It is a concept, mission, and service that entails the permanent protection
of people and property against environmental risks, disasters, and their impacts.1
According to the Government of Cameroon, civil protection is the shared responsibility of the state, municipalities, non-governmental and humanitarian organisations,
and the people who are beneficiaries of such services. To counter the risks and
threats to the country from various hazards, the government has created a National
Disaster Prevention and Management Programme, which prioritises disaster prevention and the mitigation of disaster risks as areas of action. The programme collaborates
with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the auspices of
the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation (MTAD), which
is politically powerful. The stronger and more politically powerful the supervising
ministry, the easier it is for the National Disaster Prevention and Management
Programme to coordinate disaster management (Bhavnani et al., 2008). This programme has enabled the government to put in place a legal framework for the prevention and management of emergencies, national plans for disaster prevention, and
initiatives for the prevention, education, and sensitisation of populations in emergency situations.
Many laws have been developed over the years to regulate civil protection in
Cameroon, but the management of risk and disasters has been integrated into the
overall government administrative machinery and governance structure. By addressing all risks and hazards in the country generally, peculiar problems of natural
hazards/disasters have not been tackled properly. Box 1 shows the different risks,
hazards, and/or disasters in Cameroon from 19802011.

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

Box 1. Different risks, hazards, and/or disasters in Cameroon from 19802011


Three gas disasters: two gas emissions from crater lakes, Lake Monoum (1984) and Lake Nyos (1986), and one
industrial gas accident in Nsimalen (1996).
Three volcanic eruptions of Mount Cameroon (October 1982, MarchApril 1999, and May 2000).
Sixteen tornadoes/storms/thunder strikes in the South, Far North, and Adamawa and North Regions.
Twelve major floods: Kribi (1998); Lagdo (1998); Maga (1998); Far North (Diamare, 1996, 1998, 1999); Douala
(2000) and Limbe (2001); Mokolo and Kolofata (August 2007); Nkolbisson, Yaounde (April 2008); Garoua, (July
2008); and Mayo Danay (July 2010).
Twelve major landslides: Bakombo (Melong), June 1998; Oyamabang (Yaounde), August 1990; Pinyin (Santa),
September 1992; Bafaka Balue (Ndian), September 1995; Guoata (Dschang), September 1997; Sho (Belo),
September 1997; Baingoh (Belo), July 1998; Anjin (Belo), September 1998; Yaounde (Centre Region), August
1998; Ron (Nwa), September 2001; Limbe (Southwest Region), June 2001; Magha (Wabane), July 2003.
Twenty fire disasters: bushfires in Faro and Deo Division (Adamawa Plateau), 1994; Mokolo (Yaounde), 1998;
Nsam Efoulan (Centre Region), 1998; Sangmelima market (South Region), 1998; Bafoussam market (West Region),
1999; Limbe market (Southwest Region), 2000; Essos market (Centre Region), 2001; military headquarters ammunition depot (Yaounde), 2001; Oyom-Abang (Centre Region), 2001; Kumba market (Southwest Region), 2005;
Congo market (Douala), 2009, 2010, 2011; Bertoua Central market (East), 2010; Idabato II (Bakassi), 2010;
Ngo Nkolbiteng market (Kribi), 2010; PSS Nkambe (Ndonga-Mantung Division), 2010; Tiko market (Southwest
Region), 2010; Mboppi market (Douala), 2011.
Six armed conflicts and acts of vandalism: Kotoko-Arab Choas, 1993; Bakassi, 1997; East Region; 1997; Meiganga,
1997; Moloundu, 1997; Boyo (1998).
Three cases of destruction by elephants: Far North (Diamare, 1996, 1998, and 1999).
Nine epidemics: cholera (North and Far North, 1996, 1998, 1999); meningitis (Far North, 1998; 695 cases);
Red diarrhoea (East, 1997; Messock, 1998; and Mbalmayo, 1999); Menchum Division (2010); Far North (2011).
An average of 1,000 road accidents per year.
Three aeroplane crashes: 3 December 1995 (Cameroon Airlines 737-200; 72 people killed); 30 August 1984
(Cameroon Airlines 737-200; 2 people killed); and 5 May 2007 (Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800; 114 people killed).
Famine/drought/locust invasion: Far North (1998, 1999, 2001); Maroua (2011).
Source: author. Based on a range of sources, including MTAD/DCP (2005, 2007, 2009), as well as numerous internet websites and civil
protection documents.

Legislation and policies


The process to construct a more comprehensive legal framework for civil protection
in Cameroon began shortly after independence in 1960; various laws, decrees, and
presidential and prime ministerial instructions exist on the subject (MTAD/DCP
and UNDP, 2006; MTAD/DCP, 2007). Legislation has been revised and modified
since 1967, but the various ordinances and acts do not provide a framework that demonstrates a clear linkage between disaster mitigation and development planning in
the country. The revised and modified policies and laws on disaster risks (see Box 2),
scattered across different sectors, are masked within the general regulation on civil
protection in Cameroon and are not very explicit.
The existing legislation covers mainly emergency preparedness, disaster response,
and recovery programmes. There is limited incorporation of risk reduction approaches in
legislation and no guidelines for stakeholder involvement and cross-sectoral interventions. There is no mention of budgetary provisions and rules that enable the allocation

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of government funds for risk mitigation. The integration of early warning into emergency management planning is very limited. The legislation needs to be updated to
identify and isolate clearly the burgeoning risks posed by natural hazards and their
potentially devastating consequences.
Since 2005, the Government of Cameroon has adopted a multi-agency and multidisciplinary approach via DRR policies, practices, and programmes that target natural, technological, and human-induced hazards. According to the general national
strategy on the prevention of risks and disaster management in Cameroon:
Before a hazard or disaster, put in place a National Risk Observatoryorganise
and establish a contingency plan designed to obtain, analyse, and disperse information on the major risks in an effort to protect populations and minimise any impacts
on life and property.
During a crisis, develop an emergency intervention planaimed at helping affected
populations and to monitor the disaster and assist victims.
Box 2. Legislation on disaster risk management in Cameroon
Law No. 67-LF-9 of 12 June 1967 concerning the general organisation of civil defence in the country.
Presidential Decree No. 68-DF-7 of 15 January 1968 concerning the safeguard and protection of civil installations
of vital importance in the country.
Presidential Instruction No. 02/CAB/PRC of 18 January 1968 emphasising the safeguard and protection of important civilian infrastructure in the country.
Presidential Instruction No. 16/CAB/PRC of 1 September 1972 concerning the organisation of rescue efforts in
the country.
Decree No. 74/199 of 14 March 1974 concerning operations focused on the exhumation and transfer of corpses.
Law No. 86/016 of 6 December 1986 concerning the general reorganisation of civil protection in the country.
Presidential Instruction No. 005/CAB/PR of 24 August 1987 concerning the monitoring of the nations security.
Decree No. 96/054 of 12 March 1996 concerning the composition and the duties of the National Council for Civil
Protection.
Decree No. 98/031 of 9 March 1998 concerning the organisation of emergency and relief plans.
Decree No. 98/147 of 17 July 1998 concerning the organisation of MTAD.
Decree No. 2002/018 of 18 January 2002 ratifying the Framework Convention for Emergency Aid in Civil Defence
adopted at the Geneva Convention on 22 May 2000.
Prime Ministerial Decision No. 037/PM of 19 March 2003 creating a National Risk Observatory with a principal
role in identifying high risk regions in the country and in introducing necessary measures on disaster prevention
and mitigation in these areas.
Decree No. 2004/009 of 24 April 2004 concerning the reorganisation of MTAD.
Decree No. 2004/320 of 8 December 2004 making civil protection one of the three main functions of MTAD.
Presidential Decree No. 2005/124 of 15 march 2005 establishing an emergency telecommunications service for
disaster prevention and mitigation.
Order No. 037/PM of 19 March 2003 on the creation and functioning of the National Risk Observatory.
Decree No. 2005/104 of 13 April 2005 concerning the organisation of MTAD.
Decree No. 2005/327 of 6 September 2005 on the management of civil aviation security crises in the country.
Source: author. Based on a range of sources, including MTAD/DCP (2005, 2007, 2009), as well as numerous internet websites and civil
protection documents.

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

After a disaster, inform the affected population and public about the risky zones
and . . . produce a map of the various risksto guide against subsequent dangers
and reinforce the preventive action of citizens. Rehabilitation measures are also put
into action.
The strategy also recommends creating a national humanitarian fund for critical
intervention following a disaster. Furthermore, the Government of Cameroon and
UNDP aim to introduce an urgent operational plan and to organise a sub-regional
conference on disaster management and prevention within the central African subregion.
The Government of Cameroon is also taking steps to sensitise, inform, and educate
the population vis--vis basic regulations concerning civil protection. It acknowledges difficulties in engaging in these activities owing to a shortage of financial
resources, the lack of a culture of prevention among the populace, and insufficient
interest in civil protection in the private sector (MTAD/DCP, 2005).
The limited influence that natural hazards seem to exert on the shaping of policies
and development decisions is a major constraint on achieving sustainable development.
Cameroons Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper recognises the role of hazards and
related vulnerabilities in determining the nature and pace of socioeconomic development (Government of Cameroon, 2003). Left unchecked, Cameroon will witness
increases in socioeconomic losses associated with natural hazardsas the number of
people in hazard risk zones searching for agrarian livelihoods continues to grow.
The findings of this research could help to inform plans to perform a legislative
review during the design of a new natural hazard mitigation policy. Such a policy
could provide the regulatory structure needed to link all existing policies and programmes relevant to vulnerability reduction and development planning.

Institutions engaged in disaster management


The national policy on disaster management in Cameroon, published by the Department of Civil Protection (DCP), recognises a multi-agency DRR effort. However,
not all government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved
in disaster management are mentioned in it and their roles are not defined. The
agencies that collaborate with the DCP include government ministries, municipalities, civil society, and NGOs. Linkages between all agencies involved in disaster
management need to be fostered and strengthened.
Government sector

Ministries
Table 1 outlines the ministries involved in civil protection.
The functions of the national/regional ministries and organs that play a supportive
role are not very explicit. At the national level, there is no evidence of strong horizontal

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Table 1. Government ministries involved in civil protection in Cameroon


Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Ministry of Basic Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development

Ministry of Energy and Water Resources

Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection

Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife

Ministry of Higher Education

Ministry of Industry, Mines and Technological Development

Ministry of Labour and Social Security

Ministry of Lands and Titles

Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries

Ministry of Public Health

Ministry of Public works

Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation

Ministry of Secondary Education

Ministry of Social Affairs

Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation

Ministry of Tourism

Ministry of Transport

Ministry of Urban Development and Housing

Source: author. Produced from a range of documentary sources, including Bhavnani et al. (2008) and
MTAD/DCP (2009), as well as http://www.cameroon50.cm/en/documents/publications.html and http://
www.onr.cm.

integration and collaboration between ministries. The specific role of ministries prevents them from developing their own disaster management frameworks, and limits
the latitude of disaster managers to initiate strategies that may facilitate their work,
as well as their interaction with other stakeholders nationally and internationally.

Department of Civil Protection


The DCP in the MTAD is a key operational agency for civil protection in Cameroon.
Decree No. 2005/104 of 13 April 2005 accorded it responsibility for organising and

Box 3. Main responsibilities of the DCP


General organisation of civil protection in the country as a whole.
Initiate cooperation on civil protection issues between national and international organisations.
Coordinate all institutional structures concerned with civil protection.
Develop studies and research on civil protection issues in times of war and peace in partnership with relevant
organisations.
Engage in training and capacity-building for all personnel involved in civil protection in partnership with the
Department of Human Resources.
Control the transfer of corpses.
Assess requests for compensation and financial assistance from disaster victims.
Control financial and material aid meant for disaster victims.
Coordinate disaster relief and rescue operations.
Coordinate the deployment of back-up and auxiliary services.
Coordinate logistical operations.
Source: author. Produced from a range of sources, including MTAD/DCP (2005, 2007, 2009) and http//www.onr.cm.

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

coordinating civil protection activities pertaining to natural and human-induced


disasters throughout the country (MTAD/DCP, 2009). Decree No. 2004/320 of 8
December 2004, concerning the organisation of the government, made civil protection the second most important function of the Ministry of Territorial Administration
and Decentralisation (MTAD/DCP and UNDP, 2006). Box 3 lists the key responsibilities of the DCP, including the production of an annual report on the state of civil
protection in Cameroon. However, the structure of plans does not cover specific timebound or target-related activities and monitoring and evaluation provisions.
In 2002, the DCP launched an annual publication (in French) on the state of civil
protection in Cameroon. Entitled Rapport sur letat de la protection civile au Cameroon,
the report consists of different themes related to varied aspects of natural, humaninduced, and technological hazards and disasters that affect the country. The goal is
to supply regular updates to disaster managers on the state of civil protection and on
government action on the mitigation of hazards and disasters. By 2010, six editions
of the publication had been produced. The most recent edition (in English), dated
2009 and entitled Civil defence through life-saving actions, addresses a range of issues, such
as natural and technology-related hazards in 200809, emergency medicine and
first aid policy, and techniques, strategies, and knowledge (MTAD/DCP, 2009). The
200708 edition, on the subject of Securiser le milier professionnel (Security in a professional work environment), focuses on risk and security at work. It highlights government assistance to victims of diverse catastrophes in the country, including accidents,

Box 4. Key local, national, and international organs and bodies that cooperate
with the DCP
National Disaster Prevention and Management Programme (NDPMP)
National Fire Service (NFS)
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
National Institute of Geological and Mining Research (NIGMR)
National Institute of Cartography (NIC)
Cameroon Red Cross (CRC)
Local representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Local representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Local representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Local representative of the World Health Organization (WHO)
Local representative of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO)
Local representative of the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)
Local representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
AZOMARC FOUNDATION and other national and local NGOs recognised by MTAD.
National Civil Defence Council (NCDC)exists on paper but not operational
National Risks Observatory (NRO)only a mechanism
Source: author. Produced from a range of sources, including MTAD/DCP (2005, 2007), Nana (2005), MTAD/DCP and UNDP (2006), and
http//www.onr.cm.

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ethnic conflicts, and floods. Both provide an account of government measures,


strategy, and partnerships in regard to the implementation of civil protection measures on national territory. However, empirical evidence (analysed below) indicates
that these responsibilities are not always translated into desired action. Since the
report deals with all civil protection issues, topical matters concerning natural hazards
and disaster risks are not addressed properly. Field observations and empirical information show that most governmental and non-governmental institutions that are
expected to cooperate with the DCP do not have the booklets. Box 4 contains a summary of all of the local, national, and international organs and bodies that cooperate
with and are coordinated by the DCP.
The government requires an estimated annual budget of 46.7 billion CFA francs
(GBP 467 million) to tackle civil protection problems in the country (MTAD/DCP,
2005). Owing to a lack of financial resources, the DCP is allocated only around
500 million CFA francs (GBP 500,000) per annum (MTAD/DCP, 2005). Disaster
management, therefore, suffers from inadequate financial support due to the low priority accorded to DRR in Cameroons national budget.

Local government
Local councils and municipalities have responsibility for improving the living conditions of the people in their locality. Although councils are important players in
disaster management in local areas, government legislation does not mention their
specific role in performing this function. Councils are the smallest local authorities in
the divisions and sub-divisions of the country and are divided into city councils2 and
divisional councils. While government delegates (appointed by the central administration) and elected mayors head city councils, only mayors control the divisional
councils. The main missions of the councils, as specified in law,3 include enhancement of the living conditions of inhabitants and promoting local development. In
performing these tasks they have the right to request assistance from the population, civil society organisations, other local and regional authorities, the state, and
international partners. They can also participate in the upkeep and management, where
necessary, of social advancement and reintegration centres and in organising and
coordinating relief operations for needy persons. Many councils, though, are constrained by the disaster management power structure and limited resources. For
example, Wum Divisional Council, in Northwest Region, has confronted serious
challenges with respect to the survivors of the Lake Nyos disaster of 1986 who were
resettled in camps in its jurisdiction.
Non-governmental organisations
National and local NGOs and humanitarian organisations complement government
action in vulnerable communities, although their role is not made explicit in government policy.

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

National NGOs and development agencies


Government policy does not recognise all national NGOs and development agencies as major disaster management actors in Cameroon. Only the Cameroon Red
Cross (CRC) is recognised in the operational structure for disaster management, yet
other national development agencies, such as Plan International and Helvetas, have
been organising workshops on DRR and providing humanitarian assistance, especially
to disaster victims in different parts of the country. These NGOs helped to mitigate
the socioeconomic risks associated with the resettlement of the Lake Nyos disaster
survivors (Bang, 2009). Plan International organised a workshop on the vulnerability of children during crises and disasters in Cameroon in Yaound on 13 October
2011 to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, as well as a workshop
on DRR in 2009 to develop local strategies for the prevention of disasters (Mosima,
2011). The CRC played a significant role in assisting the victims of the floods in
Douala in August 2000 and of the floods and landslides that struck Magha in August
2003 (IFRC, 2001; ParBleu Technologies, 2004). It is important to note, however,
that these NGOs have a small resource base with which to perform their routine
functions in the sphere of post-disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

Local NGOs
Local NGOs4 are also important players in disaster management in Cameroon.
Organisations such as the Movement for Democracy, Development, and Transparency,
the Research and Development Association, and the Global Centre for Compliance,
Hazard, and Disaster Management are engaged in lobbying, advocacy, and disaster
mitigation actions. Tadzong Esther Mofor, the founder of the latter body, was made
the 2003 United Nations (UN) Sasakawa Laureate for disaster reduction. Apart from
providing support to victims of technological accidents in the country, including
the Nsam petroleum fire disaster in Yaound, Mofors NGO offered disaster reduction services and support to local communities in Cameroons Northwest Region.
Other disaster management stakeholders
Civil society actorscommunity-based organisations, the private sector, the scientific community, and volunteers, for instanceare vital stakeholders in supporting the
implementation of DRR at all levels (WCDR, 2005). Government policy requires
citizens, including mayors, parliamentarians, traditional chiefs, and civil society leaders, to support civil protection action in all its dimensions (MTAD/DCP, 2005). It is
unclear, though, on how responsibility for disaster management is shared, and the
level and/or degree of linkages and interaction between the different agencies.

Research community
Academics, researchers, and scientists also have a great impact on disaster management in Cameroon. Academics work primarily in the universities, but some serve as
advisers on disaster management issues to a number of directors and ministers. The

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National Institute of Geological and Mining Research is the leading voice on natural
hazards in Cameroon. Its scientists are involved in technical research on contemporary risks and natural hazards all over the national territory. Some researchers are
members of the international scientific teams monitoring the degassing of Lake Nyos
and Lake Monoum (Kling et al., 2006). Their advice to senior government officials
has had an important bearing on the overall technical disaster management approach
to the Lake Nyos disaster (Bang, 2008, 2009).
Numerous articles and books have been published on disaster research in Cameroon.5
The majority of these publications are on the technical/scientific aspects of natural
hazards/disasters. While considerable scientific academic work has been done on
natural hazards/disasters, social and anthropological research still lags behind: scant
information is available on these aspects in relation to natural hazards in Cameroon.

Social groups
Many civil society groupings have been formed by members of local communities
that have been affected by disasters. In Northwest Region, the Mr. Bamenda Organisation and the Buabua-Kimbi Lake Nyos Survivors Cultural and Development Association were set up in 2003 to highlight the plight of the Lake Nyos disaster victims.
From MarchAugust 2007, these social groups, together with local NGOs such as
the Movement for Democracy, Development, and Transparency and the Research
and Development Association, embarked on a crusade to collect 5,000 signatures in
order to petition the government on neglect of Lake Nyos disaster survivors. They also
took an unprecedented step in lobbying parliamentarians to reject the 2008 budget
if some funds were not allocated for investment in the Lake Nyos disaster resettlement camps.
Global experience of hazard-prone areas underscores the fact that community-based
organisations are major actors in DRR. Their efforts have improved development
outcomes and increased the capacities of high-risk communities to cope with disasters (UNISDR, 2007).

International development organisations


Ratification of multilateral agreements translates into a commitment by the government to undertake disaster management projects, including the provision of financial and technical resources from international agencies. The main international
development organisations involved in disaster management in Cameroon are UNDP
(the focus of the remainder of this subsection), the United Nations Childrens Fund
(UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
UNDP plays a crucial role in influencing disaster management in the country
through awareness, education, training, and the provision of technical expertise in
various ways. Notably, it has published a document on its website on the state of civil
protection in Cameroon. Between 1997 and 2002, UNDP embarked on a project in
Cameron to reinforce the managerial, material, and infrastructural capacities of the

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

government in managing and preventing catastrophes. Principal achievements, according to UNDP (2003), included: successful training activities; greater awareness of
and sensitisation in disaster reduction; emergency relief for the victims of floods and
volcanoes; and the elaboration of a UN inter-agency contingency plan. A key activity
in 200307 was the organisation and coordination of a response to emergency situations, as indicated in the contingency plan prepared by United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) experts. This included a preventive approach that was oriented towards the reinforcement of national capacities
for the prevention of disasters and its integration into development processes. The
plan also called for the implementation of a sub-regional catastrophe and crisis management initiative to identify the means of creating a cooperation mechanism for
Central African countries, with the support of UNDP and other UN agencies and
development partners (UNDP, 2003).
UNDP, through its local office in Yaound, liaises regularly with relevant government departments to organise workshops and seminars on DRR in Cameroon.
It convened a series of workshops that laid the foundation for the establishment of a
National Risk Observatory for DRR in 2003. In September 2005, a United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP)UNOCHA team, together with local Cameroon
scientists, visited Lake Nyos to assess the natural dam and the potential flood hazard
at the lake (Kling et al., 2006). UNDP is a principal player in disaster management
in Cameroon, assuming a central role alongside the government and other international development agencies.

International Organisation for Civil Protection


National policy documents mention that the government enjoys an excellent relationship with the International Organisation for Civil Protection. Under its auspices,
the government ratified the Framework Agreement on Civil Protection Assistance in
Mali in 2002. The International Organisation of Civil Protection has given technical
support to Cameroon through realisation of the National Programme for the Prevention and Management of Risks. Two pending projects that require its assistance are
a document on the creation of a sub-regional centre for civil protection in Cameroon
and the development of an urgent intervention plan (Nana, 2005; MTAD/DCP, 2005).

Bilateral cooperation
The Government of Cameroon also engages in international cooperation with other
countries, which involves the sharing of experiences and the provision of resource
assistance for risk reduction and disaster management. Substantial financial, material,
and technical support was received from the international community during the
Lake Nyos disaster of 1986; several countries continue to supply external support for
ongoing post-disaster technical mitigation activities in the area. France, Japan, and
the United States have given financial support for the Nyos and Monoum Degassing
Project.6 Belgium, France, Germany, and Japan have given technical support for this

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project, involving the provision of human resources and scientific materials (Kling
et al., 2006).
National policy elaborates on Cameroons relationship with France in the sphere
of civil protection. The Government of France, via its Cooperation and Cultural
Action Department at the French Embassy, signed a convention with the Government of Cameroon in 2006 on the provision of material assistance for civil protection.
The main objectives centre on reinforcing civil protection, enhancing prevention of
natural hazards, and facilitating management of crises or disasters (MTAD/DCP,
2005, 2007).

Cameroons administrative framework and power structure


Administrative framework
Cameroons disaster management administrative framework is interwoven with its
governance structure. It can be grouped into three levels: national; regional; and local.
These three levels have institutions that function under the auspices of the MTAD.
The MTAD is represented by the 10 regions of the country,7 which are administered by governors.8 At the local level, each region is split into divisions headed by
senior divisional officers.9 The divisions are further separated into sub-divisions.
Each sub-division is broken up into districts under the authority of a district head.
The basic administrative units (subdivisions and districts) have local government
councils,10 which also play a vital part in disaster management, as mentioned above.
One limitation is the absence of a separate coordination body or organisational
framework that provides the administrative structure for a natural hazard mitigation policy. Hence, disaster management decisions, especially during a crisis, are
made by presidential/ministerial/regional decree, resulting in agencies offering duplicate services. The absence of a separate coordination body also implies that there is
no designated agency to guide and coordinate activities, or to monitor the quality
of post-disaster services in the short and the long term. This contributed to the dire
socioeconomic problems faced by the Lake Nyos disaster survivors (Bang, 2009).
Power structure
Disaster management administration in Cameroon involves a network of different
administrative and institutional structures that form a hierarchical top-down power
structure (see Figure 1). This framework is similar to those that manage other state
affairs. The intention is to decentralise its management in accordance with Article 1 (2)
of the Constitution, which states that the Republic of Cameroon shall be a decentralised unitary state. Law No. 2004/017 of 22 July 2004 on decentralisation11 and
deconcentration12 of powers is applied by the MTAD. Although Cameroon has
espoused decentralised implementation of disaster management interventions, the
devolution of authority, competencies, and responsibilities, including human and
financial resources, to lower administrative levels is limited.

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

Figure 1. Cameroons administrative and power structure for disaster management

Source: author.

The legal framework is explicit about the power structures pertaining to disaster
management policy at the highest level. The president of the republic has the right to
make disaster management policy. In theory, the National Council for Civil Protection also can define policies intended for endorsement by the president, mostly
via a presidential decree. The MTAD, through the DCP, is responsible for implementing policies in the 10 regions of the country, via the regional governors, the
administrative heads of the regions. Next in line are the administrators of the divisions
and the sub-divisions within the regions. At the lowest level are the government
delegates and the mayors of councils within the divisions. This structure shows that
disaster management interventions remain extremely top-down: key decisions or
policies are taken at the higher levels and enforced downwards following the hierarchy.
During an emergency, however, a crisis committee can be initiated at the divisional
and regional level to handle the situation pending further instruction from above.
The ability to take disaster management initiatives at the local level with limited
(financial and material) resources has a huge impact on disaster victims. This is more
serious in situations where they have to wait for a long time for resources from the
regional and national level.

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The administrative process


Government disaster management guidelines for the administrative authorities briefly
describe the main activities to be considered before, during, and after an event. The
three main areas to consider in the pre-disaster periods are: knowledge of the administrative units; understanding of risks; and awareness of the means of actions. The
key issues for the disaster phase include: basic laws on civil protection and relief plans;
information management; the setting up of a joint crisis committee by the governor
or senior divisional officer; the creation of command posts; and the implementation
of relief organisation plans.
Post-disaster management focuses on two fundamental administrative processes:
the joint crisis committee evaluation meeting; and the general report on the management of the disaster (MTAD/DCP, 2008). During a crisis, primary actions can be
initiated at the national, regional, or local level, depending on the nature and the
magnitude of the natural hazard, although decision-making is in accordance with the
top-down hierarchical structure. When a disaster strikes, the emergency response
plan can be launched at various levels by the competent authorities. On receipt of
reliable information on a potential disaster, the competent authorities can take the
following steps, in any order: communicate with higher authorities; initiate emergency relief and humanitarian activities; inform the public through various communication means; alert or warn vulnerable populations, if necessary; and appoint and
convene a crisis commission to manage the disaster.
If any competent regional or local authority encounters a disaster that is beyond
its capacity to cope, given available means and resources, it has to inform immediate
bosses, including an appraisal of the situation and what steps, if any, have been taken
to contain matters. Any decisions that may require major relief operations or human,
material, and financial support will be taken by the higher authorities and then
channelled downwards. Lower authorities will be responsible for implementing them
under the supervision of the higher authorities.
This administrative process for the pre- and post-disaster phases is barely addressed
in the governments disaster management policy and it does not provide any details
of what is actually required or expected during this process. In the pre-disaster phase,
for instance, disaster-prone zones are to be recognised, but they are not shown
clearly. Some disaster managers have stated, furthermore, that policy is not very
explicit and needs to be simplified and that top priority areas need to be clarified.
The administrative process is also very complicated with different administrative
authorities accorded the power to perform similar functions. Often this leads to
duplication of functions and confusion, constraining the management of relief and
rescue operations, as occurred during the Lake Nyos disaster (Bang, 2009).

The main disaster management actors


The main disaster management actors in Cameroon are civil servants and politicians;
most of whom are local government administrators trained at the LEcole Nationale
dAdministration et de Magistrature (ENAM) (National School of Administration

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

and Magistracy) in Yaound. ENAM trains most of Cameroons administrators at


the divisional, regional, and national level. These administrators, who are called
governors, senior divisional officers, and divisional officers, govern the 10 regions
(formerly called provinces), divisions, and sub-divisions, respectively. At the tail of
this structure are government delegates and mayors on the councils.
The ministers, governors, senior divisional officers, divisional officers, and government delegates are all civil servants appointed by presidential decree. They function
as government administrators in their areas of jurisdiction, with disaster management
being one of the issues that they have to tackle. Mayors, meanwhile, are democratically elected. Appointed officials tend to be very protective of the government when
discussing disaster management issues whereas elected mayors tend to give a more
candid opinion of disaster management in the country. Research evidence seems to
suggest that government administrators politicise disaster management, especially
during election campaigns (Bang, 2009). Disputes between opposition parties and the
government have manifested themselves in recent years about the role of oppositioncontrolled councils in disaster management, as their functions seem to be complementary to those of the mayors. How these disaster managers obtain their power
certainly affects disaster management and the other activities of the councils.

Implications for disaster management


The disaster management framework determines the extent to which existing legislation adequately covers DRR policies. Disaster managers are expected to understand
and buy into the provisions of the legislation in order to implement DRR strategies.
Empirical data were used to comprehend how Cameroons disaster management
structure, policy, and process influence the contemporary management of natural
hazards/disasters in the country. Interviews were conducted with government civil
servants and opposition politicians with disaster management responsibilities, as well
as with scientists and academics (researching the risks posed by natural hazards) who
influence government policies directly or indirectly. Hereafter they are referred to
as disaster managers, although they comprise a mixed lot with varying degrees of
disaster management activism. These disaster managers were interviewed to garner
their perspectives on different issues concerning natural hazards/disasters and disaster management in Cameroon.
Awareness of government laws and regulations on disaster management
The vast majority (88 per cent) of disaster managers interviewed were aware of the
existence of government legislation or regulations relating to disaster management
in the country, although very few possess in-depth knowledge of their content and
how they should be enforced. Most have only superficial knowledge of the legislation and regulations and flagged a lack of more detailed information on their application and enforcement, even in their own sectors. Many could not give any further
details on the policies or the relevant aspects to which the laws refer.

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The DCP has produced reports on the state of civil protection in Cameroon since
2002, yet empirical research indicates that many disaster managers still do not know
of their existence. Only 23 per cent of those interviewed were aware of the publication; all were working in government ministries in Yaound. Disaster managers in
the regions and the divisions did not know of them. Those who were aware of their
existence did not have good knowledge of the purpose or the content of the reports,
since most did not have copies, even though they are supposed to be distributed free
of charge to all ministries involved in disaster management. Further interviews with
disaster managers at the local level confirmed that most lack disaster management
reference materials. When engaging with the topic, these managers take and follow
instructions and directions from above without any working documents or guidelines to help them function. In part this is because most of them are government
administrators whose responsibilities are very wide ranging, and not restricted to
disaster management alone.
Assessment of Cameroons hazard mitigation programme
Most disaster managers attached to government ministries said that Cameroons
hazard mitigation programme is a success, while a majority of the others rated it as
between fair and poor. However, 35 per cent stated that it is improving, and emphasised that it needs more financial, human, and material resources and even more
commitment by government to enhance further. A few disaster managers reported
that the programme is not working well. This set of disaster managers, which does not
have very strong ties to the government administration, and is mostly composed of
academics and mayors of opposition-controlled councils, noted that the lack of
implementation of government disaster management policies was a major challenge
to the process. The poor enforcement of disaster management legislation, a shortage of skilled and trained disaster management personnel, and a dearth of adequate
financial and material resources were also cited as fundamental constraints on the
effective functioning of disaster management in the country. Reference was constantly made to landslide-prone areas. People were and are living on slopes in risky
areas without land and building permits and nothing is being done to protect them
or to reduce the risk. Other managers also confirmed that the entire disaster management process is more reactive than proactive and they believe that this is one
matter that warrants urgent attention.
Natural hazard risk assessment
Most disaster managers rate the risk of a natural hazard in Cameroon as between
moderate and high, with 65 per cent believing that the risk is high. Their assessment
is informed mostly by their knowledge of the geology of Cameroon and recent
geophysical, geological, and hydro-meteorologically-induced hazards. While most
scientists drew on their technical knowledge (of the geology of Cameroon and its
tectonic setting) to support their reasoning, politicians and administrators mainly
used examples of past and frequent hazards, such as landslides, the toxic gas emissions

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

from crater lakes, and volcanic eruptions, to reinforce their argument. Disaster managers perceptions of natural hazard risk are significant because they are likely to
influence their level of preparedness and contingency planning for future events.
Vulnerability preparedness and resilience
Many disaster managers believe that Cameroon is making sufficient progress in addressing the risks posed by gas emissions from crater lakes and volcanic eruptions, but
that the country is not yet adequately prepared to tackle the high risk of natural
hazards. Respondents attitudes and responses to questions on this issue varied depending on their portfolios, position, responsibilities, and the sectors in which they worked.
Most disaster managers in the government sector seemed to be protective of government action on preventive measures to reduce the impact of natural hazards in the
country. They argued that Cameroon is well prepared to deal with the physical risks
posed by some crater lakes in the country. A majority referred to the Nyos and
Monoum Degassing Project as a major success in mitigating the risk of poisonous
gases in Lake Nyos and Lake Monoum. They also pointed out that a risk assessment
of the gas content of the many other crater lakes on the Cameroon Volcanic Line will
be conducted, although no details were provided. Others reported that the government also is taking steps to monitor the volcanic activity of Mount Cameroon,
supplying more scientific equipment, such as seismographs, to the Ekona Geology
Research Institute in Southwest Region. Many disaster managers without government administrative functions classified vulnerability preparedness in the country as
low. Irrespective of sector, however, most respondents thought that progress is being
made to improve the governments monitoring and mitigation of the various risks
facing the country, including technological, human-induced, and natural hazards.
Similar management strategies for technological, human-induced, and natural
hazards are another important reason for the countrys continuous problems in this
area. Some key disaster management players think that more human, financial, and
material resources should be earmarked for proactive natural hazard mitigation
measures, since, while not as frequent as road accidents, for instance, their impact
often results in a greater death toll and more damage to property.
Another natural hazard preparedness limitation that disaster managers highlighted
was the lack of a natural disaster management plan for the country. This would
prioritise hazards within the different sectors of the country and outline a plan of
action to deal with them. Without this plan, there is no clear and consistent pattern of
or method for pre-hazard/disaster planning, and government action remains limited
to post-disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts, which frequently are characterised
by confusion and corruption.
Some disaster managers acknowledged that many problems exist within the administrative process that hinder decision-making and the application of preventive disaster
measures. While denied by the government administrators who double as disaster
managers, other principal disaster management stakeholders think that the countrys
complex administrative and power structure is partly to blame for the ineffective

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and slow implementation of disaster management initiatives. Some argue that the
civil administrators who are empowered with taking important disaster management decisions at all levels do not have the relevant knowledge, and, in many cases,
use such opportunities for political purposes. These respondents pointed out that, in
a crisis, the civil administrators often select the members of crisis committees along
party lines rather than prioritising competent individuals with ample knowledge to
handle the situation. Many disaster managers believe an administrative process that is
highly politicised is an impediment to efficient disaster management and risk reduction in Cameroon.

Policy recommendations
The following policy recommendations aim to correct the limitations highlighted
in the analysis and research findings:
The organisational structure under the MTAD should be revised to clarify the
working relationships and operational procedures vis--vis the other ministries
and agencies that provide support services to the DCP.
Government disaster management legislation and policy should address natural
hazards and disasters separately from technological and human-induced hazards.
This is because natural disasters occur on a different scale and frequency and in
different geographical locations and often require different contingency planning
than other disasters.
The responsibilities of disaster managers and the MTAD committees at the national,
provincial, and local level should be well defined to avoid duplication of functions.
The government should decentralise responsibilities and resources for DRR to
relevant regional or local authorities to avoid administrative bottlenecks.
Government disaster management policy should focus more on proactive measures that should address all phases of the disaster management cycle.
A monitoring and evaluation process should exist to track the progress of disaster
management programmes.
A comprehensive risk, vulnerability, and hazard assessment of the physical environment of the country should be carried out and a hazard risk map produced.
Disaster management and DRR programmes should concentrate on the socioeconomic and technical aspects, while risk reduction information should be provided regularly to strengthen interaction between risk reduction authorities and
the public at large.
The Government of Cameroon should train staff or recruit personnel knowledgeable in disaster management to work alongside government administrators at the
national, regional, and local level.
There is a need to deepen knowledge of the variety, type, and extent of disaster
risks across the country, as well as of geographical coverage.
Disaster management institutions should be adequately funded.
The national disaster reduction policy should be linked to relevant development plans.

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

Conclusion
The disaster management system of any country or organisation is the basis upon
which its activities can be assessed, although disaster management policies and plans
often are not put into practice. Cameroon has made significant progress in DRR,
especially in terms of policies, institutions, and organisations (see Figure 2). The
DCP in the MTAD has three basic functions to coordinate all of the other organs and
bodies involved in civil protection, facilitating their activities and assisting their
operations: (i) the general organisation of all civil protection activities in the country,
including liaising with national and international civil protection agencies; (ii) the
general coordination, management and supervision of civil protection activities within
the national territory; and (iii) the provision of material and financial assistance to all
of the countrys agencies involved in civil protection. At the national level, other
organs that, together with the DCP, are expected to play a central role in civil protection in the country are the National Risk Observatory and the National Council
for Civil Protection, which are under the auspices of the presidency. The remaining
principal emergency and disaster management intervention agencies include other
government ministries, international organisations, NGOs, and research institutions. This paper has shown that there is greater institutional clarity in Cameroon on
preparedness and the response activities of national, regional, divisional, and municipal
disaster management authorities than there is on organisational responsibilities for
ongoing mitigation and risk reduction actions.
Figure 2. The main institutions involved in disaster management in Cameroon

Source: author.

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The policy framework focuses more on response mechanisms and merely espouses
DRR; it does not specify it as a mode of operation or as a priority. There are no
comprehensive and explicit laws that show how the disaster management policy is
applicable to institutions and to the managerial process for the entire territory. There
are no comprehensive strategies and programmes and no coherent and coordinated
needs analyses have been undertaken. The government recognises non-state agencies and communities in disaster management but it does not stipulate their roles.
Local NGOs and the private sector are yet to be recognised sufficiently as important
in the disaster management process. The disaster management policy framework still
relies on command and control without adequate provision for personal initiatives,
resulting in disaster managers having a very low esteem, and interest in disaster
management. In addition, disaster management institutions and the disaster management process face funding constraints that impact on their effectiveness. Good governance requires that the state facilitate, not dominate, the sharing of decision-making
power among all disaster management stakeholders (World Bank, 2007). According
to Bhavnani et al. (2008), no Sub-Saharan African country has a holistic DRR legal
framework that includes urban and regional plans, building codes, and bylaws for their
enforcement to protect against natural hazards.
This papers findings are in line with some conclusions of the Africa Regional
Strategy for DRR. It identified the following major challenges for the region: limited
risk identification and assessment; a lack of effective institutionalisation of DRR;
weak integration of DRR in national development plans; and inadequate training
in and research on DRR and the dissemination of relevant information (African Union
et al., 2004).
This empirical research also has revealed that disaster managers generally are not
conversant with disaster management legislation and regulations and many more
are not updated regularly on contemporary civil protection issues. While most key
government personnel involved in disaster management believe that the process is
successful, their peers at the regional and lower levels hold a contrary viewpoint. The
general opinion is that, although Cameroon faces a high risk of natural hazards,
preparedness to tackle them remains at a very low level. The disaster management
framework is still far from robust, yet it provides the basic foundation for the process.
However, a major challenge continues to lie in shifting from emergency response
to wider risk reduction strategies, as well as in the need for national policies to
recognise disaster management as a development activity aimed at protecting the
development process.

Correspondence
Henry Ngenyam Bang, 37 Whitworth Court, Norwich NR6 6GN, United Kingdom.
E-mail: henrybang2001@yahoo.com

General overview of the disaster management framework in Cameroon

Endnotes
1

For more information see http://www.onr.cm (accessed on 20 March 2014).


Owing to their special nature, certain urban centres may be granted special status, and permitted
to have a city council.
3
Sections 18 under the general provisions of Law No. 2004/018 of 22 July 2004 specify rules applicable to councils.
4
Law No. 99/014 of 29 December 1999 allows legally declared and authorised associations to acquire
the status of NGOs in Cameroon. Local NGOs are established by Cameroonians and are mostly
involved in community development programmes.
5
Dumort (1968); Hedberg (1968); Nni (1984); Freeth and Kay (1987); Kling et al. (1987, 2005,
2006); Othman-Chande (1987); Sigurdsson et al. (1987); Lockwood et al. (1988); Shanklin (1988);
Zogning (1988); Fairhead and Green (1989); Lambi (1989, 1991); Lockwood and Meyer (1989);
Kusakabe, Ohsumi, and Aramaki (1989); Sigvaldason (1989); Freeth et al. (1990); Lockwood and
Schuster (1991); Binks and Fairhead (1992); Ngwa (1992); Coulon et al. (1996); Ayonghe et al.
(1999, 2004); Neba (1999); Deruelle et al. (2000); Krajick (2003); Suh et al. (2003); Zogning,
Ngouanet, and Tiafack (2007); Bang (2008; 2009); Kusakabe et al. (2008).
6
The principal objective of the project, which started in 2000, is to mitigate the risk of another gas
explosion in Lake Nyos and Lake Monoum through degassing.
7
The 10 regions of Cameroon are Adamawa, Centre, East, Far North, Littoral, North, Northwest,
South, Southwest, and West.
8
Each region is under the authority of a governor who resides in the headquarters. The governor represents the head of state in the region and is the custodian of state authority therein. He/she is the
representative of both the government and each minister. In this capacity, therefore, he/she represents the state in all civil and legal matters. The governor is responsible for the enforcement of laws
and ensures law and order by applying the legislation and regulations in force.
9
The division is managed by a senior divisional officer who is under the direct hierarchical authority
of the governor of the region. He/she is the custodian of state authority within the administrative
unit and represents the government and each minister. He/she is responsible for ensuring that
legislation and regulations are enforced and sees to it that all government initiatives aimed at fostering development in the division are implemented.
10
Cameroon currently has a total of 339 councils of all types, including the 12 city councils (communauts urbaines) of the 10 headquarters of the regions.
11
This refers to the various means of distributing decision-making more widely in order to bring it
closer to the point of service or action or the transfer of power and authority from the central government to the local level.
12
This refers to the transfer of central administration powers to representatives in different local
areas. Power is delegated by the president of the republic to governors and senior divisional officers
via ministers.
2

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