The Effectiveness of Decentralisation as a Response Mechanism for Disaster Risk Management in Bamenda, North West Cameroon
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 Using primary data (field observations, interviews, on-the-spot-appraisals) and secondary data (published/unpublished works and internet sources) sources through the descriptive and analytical methods of investigation, the findings unknots the fact that the intrinsic physical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.
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,
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