Volume 3, Issue 2, June 2018, Page: 51-63
The Effectiveness of Decentralisation as a Response Mechanism for Disaster Risk Management in Bamenda, North West Cameroon
Ndi Roland Akoh, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences, The University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon
Received: Jul. 5, 2018;       Accepted: Jul. 17, 2018;       Published: Aug. 21, 2018
DOI: 10.11648/j.larp.20180302.15      View  497      Downloads  34
Abstract
Decentralized disaster risk governance has gained significant attention with the rising rate of global urban development today. Although scholarly debate/interest in this subject has grown, a comprehensive assessment of its efficiency is still rare. This paper attempts to fill this gap through a critical analysis of decentralisation as a response mechanism for disaster risk management in Bamenda in a bid to enshrine sustained solutions into concrete policy options. Using primary data (field observations, interviews, on-the-spot-appraisals) and secondary data (published/unpublished works and internet sources) sources through the descriptive and analytical methods of investigation, the findings unknots the fact that the intrinsic physical setting of Bamenda exhibited through its precarious geologic structure, undulating topography and extremely steep slopes are omni-inviting for a plethora of adverse environmental imprints. Contrary to these challenges, the urban development process in Bamenda has disregarded its natural setting as unplanned development through the anthropisation of slopes and wetlands is a common idiosyncrasy. Given this current state of affairs, however, the effectiveness of decentralization as a response mechanism for disaster risk management leaves much to be desired. This missing link is beset and partly catalyzed by deep institutional and regulatory lapses in the manifestation of decentralisation, ineffective and inconsistent management capacities, poor policy implementation and enforcement mechanisms relating to town planning instruments, bureaucracy and clientelistic practices. These speed breaks have rendered decentralisation as a response mechanism for disaster risk management largely ineffective in Bamenda. The paper suggests the need for the fortification of the capacities of workers in decentralized institutions, the need for the central government to devolve effective powers to local governments for disaster risk management, the need for greater financial autonomy and for the introduction of checks and balances to prevent the misuse of powers to achieve personal gains.
Keywords
Decentralisation, Effectiveness, Governance, Risk, Management, Bamenda
To cite this article
Ndi Roland Akoh, The Effectiveness of Decentralisation as a Response Mechanism for Disaster Risk Management in Bamenda, North West Cameroon, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2018, pp. 51-63. doi: 10.11648/j.larp.20180302.15
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Reference
[1]
Wallis, L. (1999). “Decentralisation in Lesotho” in Reddy, P. S. (ed) Local Government, Democratization and Development: A Review of Southern African Region. London: Juta & Co.
[2]
Robertson, W. (2016). “Overview of Decentralisation Worldwide: A Stepping Stone to Improved Governance and Human Development,” New York, United Nations.
[3]
Shale V. R (2004). Decentralization, Development and Conflict: Challenges Awaiting Local Authorities in Lesotho. The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa.
[4]
World Vision (2015). Building Urban Resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and Pacific. Priorities, Good Practices and Lessons Learnt.
[5]
World Bank (2015). East Asia’s Changing Landscape: Measuring a Decade of Spatial Growth. Washington D, C. World Bank.
[6]
Nyangabyaki B (2003). Environmental Governance in Africa Decentralization, Politics and Environment in Uganda. Working Paper Series. World Resources Institute. Institutions and Governance Program, Washington DC.
[7]
Yooil, JOO, Yu-Min, & WON, Soh-Yeon. (2015). Decentralization and collaborative disaster governance. Habitat International, 52, 50-56. Available at: htp://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1850
[8]
UNDP (2004). Human Development Report 2015. A framework for Human Development. United Nations Organisation, New York.
[9]
UN/ISDR, (2002). United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Living with risk: A global review of disaster reduction initiatives. The Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 382 pp. (http://www.unisdr.org)
[10]
SALGA (2017). South Africa Local Government Association: Risk Management Framework.
[11]
Ndi R. A, Kometa S. S and Lambi C. M (2017). Controversies in Building Permit Acquisition as an Environmental Deterrent to Physical Development Planning in Bamenda. International Journal of Resource and Environmental Management. Volume 2, Number 1. The Environmental and Social Research Center, Unique Printing and Publishing House, Bamenda. Pp 25-38.
[12]
Afangang and Nkwemoh (2017). Spatial Modelling of Landslide Susceptibility Using Logistic Regression Model in the Bamenda Escarpment Zone, NW Cameroon. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development. Vol 6, No 12.
[13]
Tiafack, O., & Mbon, A. M. (2017). Urban Growth and Front Development on Risk Zones: GIS Application for Mapping of Impacts on Yaounde North Western Highlands, Cameroon. Current Urban Studies, 5, 217- 235. https://doi.org/10.4236/cus.2017.52013.
[14]
Nkwemoh, C. A., Mesmin, T., & Afungang, R. N. (2017). The Impact of Urbanisation on the Vegetation of Yaounde, Cameroon. International Journal of Innovation Research and Development, 6, 6-18.
[15]
The Bamenda Master Plan (2013-2027).
[16]
The Chronicle Newspaper (2009). No 141, July 2009.
[17]
Guedjeo, C., Kagou, D. (2013). Natural Hazards along the Bamenda Escarpment and its Environs: The case of Landslide, Rock fall and Flood risks. Global Advanced Research Journal of Geology and Mining Vol. 2. http://garj.org/garjgmr/index.htm. Global Advanced Research Journals. Accessed on 11/11/2013.
[18]
Dietrich, W., Montgomery, D., (1998). A digital terrain model for mapping shallow landslide potential. National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) Technical Report: pp. 26.
[19]
Bateira, C., (2010). Evaluation of natural susceptibility in the north of Portugal. Analysis and territorial management. Prospectiva e Planeamento 17, 15-32.
[20]
Soeters, R., van Westen. (1996). Slope instability recognition, analysis and zonation. In: Turner K, Schuster R (eds.), Landslides investigation and mitigation. National Academy Press, Washington, pp 129-177.
[21]
Montgomery, D. R., Dietrich, W. E., (1994). A physically based model for the Topographic control on shallow landsliding. Water Resource Research 30(4), 1153–1171.
[22]
Terry, J. L (2008): Steep Slopes; Guide/Regulations. Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. Longman publishers, London.
[23]
Lambi, C. M. (1998). The Matomb Slope Instability Hazard on the Yaounde-Douala Highway, Cameroon, West Africa. Cameroon Geographical Review, Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Volume XIII, Number 2, pp 1-9
[24]
Lambi C. M., C. G Kometa and J. N. Kimengsi (2012). Reflections on Landslide Hazard in Limbe Municipality, South West Region of Cameroon. In Lambi C. M (ed): African Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 3, Number 3. Unique Printers, Bamenda.
[25]
Brochu, M. (1981). Methode d’emraiement de l’erosion des Coupes des Voies de Communication en Milieu Tropicale. Cahiers Géologiques, No 97, Universitaire P. M. Curie 4 P1, Jussieu, 75005, Paris, pp388-389.
[26]
Whitten, D. and Brooks. R. (1972). Dictionary of Geology. pp44 & 162,
[27]
Mawhood. P. (1993). Local Government in the Third World, Experience of Decentralization in Tropical Africa, 2nd edition, Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.
[28]
Abangma, J. (2009). “Fundamental Autonomy and the Performance of Communes in Cameroon: Local Government for the People”, African Journal of Contemporary Issues, Vol. 9, No. 1:1-60.
[29]
United Nations Publication (2005). Decentralization: Poverty Reduction, Empowerment and Participation. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations, New York.
[30]
Lee, M., Richard, G. and Henry, B. (2017), “Blaming active volcanoes or active volcanic blame?” Volcanic Crisis Communication and Blame Management in the Cameroon, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
[31]
Gunilla W, Daniel S., Martin S, Olof D., Anders E (2012). The role of governance for improved environmental outcomes Perspectives for developing countries and countries in transition. Swedish Environmental Proctection Agency.
[32]
Ndi R. A, Kometa SS & Lambi C. M (2017). The Efficiency of Urban Planning Regulations on Environmental Management in Bamenda, North West Cameroon. Journal of Environment and Earth Science. Vol. 7, No. 10. Pp 104-113.
[33]
Bang, H. N., (2013). Governance of Disaster Risk Reduction in Cameroon: The Need to Empower Local Government. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies Vol 5, No 2, pp.10 http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v5i2.77. Accessed on 15/06/2016.
[34]
Roland Ndille and Johannes A. Belle (2014). Managing the Limbe Floods: Considerations for Disaster Risk Reduction in Cameroon. Int J Disaster Risk Sci (2014) 5:147–156.
[35]
Mbuagbo, O. T and Akoko, R. M (2004). Roll-Back: Democratization and Social Fragmentation in Cameroon. Nordic Journal of African Studies 13(3):1-12.
Browse journals by subject