Over 3000 persons including Nigerians, South Africans, Equatorial Guineans, Kenyans, Egyptians Zimbabweans and the entire sports loving population of Africa will be converging on Limbe, Yaounde and other towns in Cameroon in the months ahead for the 2016 female African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to run from November 19 to December 3.
Though such massive population influx will boost business and tourism activities in the country, the environmental ramifications abound. Increased population influx means increased green house emission via cigarette/tobacco smoking, and intra-city/intercity transportation by spectators, organizers and footballers.
Energy and water supply is another great environmental challenge watch out for. Water and electricity supply in the two major towns to play host to the historic jamboree is often characterised by paucity and irregularities especially during the dry season, which happens to be the period when the competition will be on.
It is therefore very important for the government and the national organising committee to double check measures put in place to handle this and be sure that there are apt enough to meet up with the several thousands of persons that will be making way into the country.
The influx of thousands of persons from the eight participating nations and other football lovers in the African continent to Cameroon also means increased amount of waste generation during this period; both biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Players, spectators and people from all over the continent will be drinking bottled water and other consumables leading to increase amount of plastic and other wastes. Businesses too will sprout from all corners of Buea, Limbe, Tiko Yaounde and other neighbouring towns. This also means increase in waste production requiring the putting in place of a proper waste management schemes.
In an interview with the Southwest Regional Delegate of MINEPDEP, Set Ekwadi Sone, he admitted that waste management will be a major challenge during the female AFCON but indicated that a lot has been put in place to ensure proper waste management.
“Hygiene and sanitation will be a hard knock to crack. We have organised a meeting with the Hygiene and Sanitation Company (HYSACAM) and brewery companies in the Region to chat a way forward on how waste will be managed during this period of AFCON. In the days ahead we will also be embarking on a mass sensitization campaign to sensitize people against littering; our banners will also be up with proper waste management messages” the regional delegate explained.
In a similar chat with the Chief of Service for Hygiene and Sanitation at the Limbe City Council, Mrs. Rose Diboma, she disclosed that the City Council is putting in place series of measures to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation during the tournament
“The council is going around with its normal duty of keeping the streets clean and ensuring that businesses around the road are clean. However, more focus is on restaurants and hotels to ensure that their services are professional and their environments are kept clean before during and after the competition” the Chief of Service said.
Mrs. Rose Diboma added that the City Council has signed an order promising sanctions to anyone who will be caught throwing dirt on the streets and even through moving vehicles during and after the female AFCON.
Efforts should therefore be made by all to ensure a green and environmentally friendly female 2016 female AFCON in Cameroon.
By Bertrand S. Ndimuh & Queen Achingale