“They arrived at 4 a.m., accompanied by 200 police officers and dozens of tough guys. Calmly, they set up their gear and waited. At 9 a.m. they started destroying the first houses, ignorant the demands for an explanation from the inhabitants who, awakened from their sleep, had joined them. Then everything happened very quickly. We didn’t have time to save much. It was horrible. »
Thus speaks Patrick Moudissa Bell of this night of May 14, at the end of which he saw his twelve residences of the district of Bali-Dikolo, in Douala, reduced to dust, at the same time as those of 60 to 80 families. In total, nearly 1,000 people were jetties homeless. At 51, this entrepreneur, whose family had lived here for more than two hundred years, now wears the hat of representative of the victims.
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Some took refuge with relatives. Others rent small rooms by the day. Makeshift huts spring from the ground, open to the four winds in this rainy season. In a video that has gone viral on social networks, Jean-Daniel Nguéa, one of the victims, explains that he wanders the streets of Douala all day and sleeps at night on his father’s grave. “Some of them no longer have the slightest landmark, sighs Patrick Moudissa Bell. They have trouble feeding themselves and can only count on solidarity and mutual aid. »