Etoudi: Tears-provoking demolition leaves denizens saddened

The Etoudi traders who have been going about their businesses at the location since 1998, are bitter about the recent destruction of their business sites by the City Council.

“The demolition came more of a surprise to us despite the two quick notices that were served to us, the first one came on July 10th as the deadline and the other for July 30th. With our multiple visits to the Ministry of Territorial Administration, the SDO for Mfoundi, and lastly the City Council Mayor, even the D.O. we met said we should be calm and continue with our activities. On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, the people came and fenced the whole place, we only struggled to remove what we could, thieves took what they could,” Suh Blaise, one of the traders told CNA.

He further stated, “In the course of this demolition, we witnessed much intimidation which resulted in the arrest of some traders. Last night I was at the station to secure the release of about 8 people. One of us who was arrested alongside the 8 people, is still there because of the weekend, we are hoping he is released on Monday,”.

My Media Prime reports indicated that the Yaounde City Council officials say the planned demolition is part of the efforts to modernize the city, also stating, that they have relocated the victims to temporal sites.

“The supposed temporal site that was shown to us around Carrefour Etoudi cannot contain up to 20 or 30 people whereas we are almost 150 of us. Worst of all, it is beside a dustbin, very filthy, we feel frustrated,” the trader further stated.

“Last February 2022, the whole block was consumed by fire, we contributed to reconstructing it, we spent about 40 million, and we even borrowed goods to stock the shops. A year and a half later, what we suffered to construct has gone down,” another trader said.

These Cameroonians who are mostly Anglophones established their businesses at the Etoudi motor park in 1998 when the area was still bushy.

Source: Cameroon News Agency