Yaoundé, 21st March, 2023 A denunciation letter received (in amplification) by Greenpeace Africa calls on the government of Cameroon not to issue the authorisation for the discharge of wastewater to the company FIPCAM because of the risks of pollution, destruction of the environment and vital resources as well as the effect on the health of the populations.
In a public notice published on November 16, 2022, the SDO of the Mefou and Afamba Division announced the opening of a public inquiry on the impact of the discharge of wastewater by the Cameroonian parquet factory (FIPCAM). A letter of opposition and denunciation addressed to the Minister of Water and Energy points out the dangers and the disaster that would be represented by the issuance of the authorisation referred to by the public inquiry. In his letter dated February 21, 2023, Mr. Sosthène Amougou, a native of Mfou, already pointed out the possible risks of such an initiative on the populations. “We depend on agriculture and fishing for our livelihood and consume water from the streams. Our opposition is based on the consequences that these wastewater discharges will have on the ecological balance, the framework and the quality of life of the populations as well as their environment,” he wrote.
Indeed, if FIPCAM discharges its water into the environment, it raises the risk of destruction of aquatic flora and fauna as well as water pollution in the locality.
“The city of Mfou is not a garbage can and its inhabitants have the right to breathe clean air. The right to a healthy environment is enshrined in the Constitution of Cameroon. To grant such a permit to FIPCAM would be to deliberately choose to damage the health of Cameroonians who already have a long list of challenges to face on a daily basis, and thus violate this fundamental human right. The government is the guarantor of the population’s well-being and must act accordingly in this case,” said Ranece Jovial Ndjeuda, Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa.
“It is suspicious that the public notice of the SDO of Mfou is signed on the day of the announced date of the opening of the public inquiry, and the posting of the said public notice (supposed to allow the populations to have information on this project that will negatively impact their lives) on November 18, 2022, that is to say two days after the date of the opening of the public inquiry. This is an illegality, especially with regard to the observance of deadlines in such circumstances, knowing that the populations should have needed time to prepare for the above-mentioned inquiry,” added Ranece Ndjeudja.
“Companies like FIPCAM must have a water treatment plant to avoid poisoning the surrounding population. We encourage the Minister of Water and Energy to ask the company to follow the same process to build one or update it to treat its wastewater, and thus give the people of Mfou a chance to live in a healthy environment” concluded Ranece Jovial Ndjeudja.
Communications Officer, Greenpeace Africa
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +237 656 46 35 45 (WhatsApp)
Ranece Jovial Ndjeudja
Congo Basin Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Africa
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +237 699901742