After Devasting Bamenda Main Market fire: Bamenda City Mayor says Market will be demolished

Bamenda City Mayor talks to The Observer 

Within the sidelines of the evaluation of losses at the Bamenda main market, the city Mayor of Bamenda has declared that the entire market will be brought down and an ultramodern market constructed.

Achombang Tambeng Paul was responding to questions as to when the market will get back to full gear.

"We will do some temporal work for the occupants of these sheds to get back to business. The greater plan is to construct a befitting market that can serve the next 50 years."

Quizzed about the possible cause of the fire outbreak, the city Mayor said;" we are still investigating the cause of the fire but from the look of things, it was caused by human errors. I think that many people are really stressed doing business for just 15 days a month, others from the effects of this crisis. This can be one of the reasons why someone will leave his or her shop without switching off lights and other electronic gadgets." Paul Achombang said.

Mezam SDO at the market for evaluation 

The city Mayor was also asked about the haphazard nature of the electricity connection in the market. In his remark, he said that the market was constructed when electricity supply in Bamenda was still a luxury. But going forward, the new market will be well constructed and structured to meet the needs of the time and will serve the purpose for the next 50 years.

Plans to demolish the current Bamenda Main Market by then Government Delegate, Vincent Ndumu Nji, met stiff resistance from the majority SDF councillors at the time. They opposed the demolition of the market, citing lack of market stalls within the city.

The ultramodern market was to be constructed in the form of a shopping mall, having a school, financial institutions, telecom operators and access roads.

Paul Achombang says the current plan will encompass all of these to avoid the over congestion that is currently witnessed and also avert the risk of having people keep monies in their stalls.

As regards the eminent compensation of the market victims, an inventory was carried out led by the SDO of Mezam, Simon Emile Mooh with technical assistance from the Divisional delegation of Trade.

The inventory was carried out on the site to stop those who have their names registered at the level of the council from benefitting at the detriment of those who are actually doing business there.

Also, the aspect of paying rents up to date as a reason to be registered, was squashed as leaders of traders trade unions told the SDO that a trader is only known to have forfeited his rents, when a quarter expires without them paying.

Since the first quarter of 2024 has not yet expired, all the traders are in order.

The traders are left to individually state the worth of their respective stalls as at the time of the fire outbreak. Notes are taken by the commission members to ascertain if what they're presented is the truth.

About 300 shops went off in ravaging flames on Thursday 22nd February 2024 at about 5:30 PM.

This has led to severe material and financial damages amounting to billions.


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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