Bamenda Main Market inferno: North West Elite donates to fire victims

Minister Felix Mbayu explaining the motive of the fund drive and how the money will be distributed 

Victims of the February 22nd fire incident at the Bamenda Main Market have received a financial donation from the Elite of the North West Region and friends of the region.

The exercise to hand the donation to the victims took place at the auditorium of the North West Regional Assembly Friday 7th June 2024.

A total of 75.1 million francs CFA was raised over the period of two months and on the floor the representative of the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, added the sum of 500,000 Francs.

While speaking to the victims, Minister Felix Mbayu, explained that "when we heard the story of the fire incident, we saw through your pain. The Bamenda main market is a microcosm of the North West Region. When this market was commissioned in 1967, it was an architectural jewel. It remains the same as it grows old." Minister Felix Mbayu said.

Minister Mbayu also explained it is the Bamenda main market that gives meaning to the Bamenda commercial Avenue, the epicentre of business in the region.

Minister Mbah Acha unveiling the distribution team

A coordination team was formed shortly after the incident with members including Senator Regina Mundi, Minister Mbah Acha Rose, DG Fongod Edwin to rally the collection of the funds.

Minister Mbayu explained that the amount of money collected was deposited in an account opened at NFC. The money has been transferred to OPSECS, a microfinance run by the Catholic Church.

Minister Mbah Acha enjoined all present to use the money judiciously. She proceeded to introduce the committee charge with the distribution of the money.

The committee to distribute 

The committee consists of a representative from the archbishop of Bamenda, a representative of the moderator, the Executive President of the CBC, the President of the traders' association, a representative from the Governor's office and the City Mayor of Bamenda.

According to the Director General of Customs, Fongod Edwin, explained that the money will be distributed equally to all the victims.

As explained by the Senior Divisional officer for Mezam, Simon Emile Mooh, 292 shops were razed and some 439 traders were affected.

The traders through their President extended their sincere regards to those who contributed and promised to put the money into good use.

The traders also pleaded with the City Mayor to ensure that the market is reconstructed soonest so that they can regain their stalls.

A plea which the city Mayor says is thoughtful as the council envisage to hold an extraordinary council session to deliberate on the matter and commence with reconstruction works. 

Mezam SDO affirmed that the session will hold soon and tenders will be out for potential contractors to bid.

A move saluted by the traders who have been hovering around for some time. 

North West Elites handing over the cheque 

While speaking to the traders, His Majesty the Fon of Mankon encouraged them not to stumble in the face of adversity. He also called on the city Mayor of Bamenda to construct a futuristic market, one which will meet the aspirations of the future generation.

The traders left with one resolve, making brisk business out of the ashes of the fire.

Bamenda II Mayor, Peter Chenwi encouraged the traders to invest the money put at their disposal and start life anew.

The donation exercise was witnessed by Members of the Senate, members of Parliament, General Managers of state corporations and other Elite of the region.

The traders can start collecting their money from OPSECS as soon as Tuesday.


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