Scarcity of Public Lavatories

Most markets, bus stations and motor parks in Douala do not have these basic sanitary facilities.

Finding a place to bathe, wash hands, wash and dry clothes or simply rest is so difficult these days in Douala, with the consequences felt most by commuters, traders and stage performers. None of the major markets in the city, including Marcheacute Central, Marcheacute des Femmes, Marcheacute Mboppi, Marcheacute Congo and Marcheacute Sandaga, which attract hordes of people throughout the day, has any public lavatory.

The scarcity of bathrooms or lavatories is a discomforting experience to everyone after travelling over a long distance. Imagine a tired traveller or even a frail patient who has nowhere to lie down, sit or have a cool bath before continuing or starting a journey! Many traders (especially women) travel long distances in buses on a regular basis from the regions, but there are no public lavatories provided for them in motor parks and markets. Most markets in Douala have toilets instead of lavatories.

Elisabeth T., a passenger in one of the inter-urban bus companies at Douche Municipal, said she considers the toilets unsafe for women because they are poorly constructed, lack basic cleaning necessities, often poorly maintained, do not meet acceptable standards, provide no privacy and have consequently developed a terrible odour. Yet users are obligated to pay between FCFA 50 and FCFA 100 for use.

The grounds of the Bepanda Omnisports Stadium, which hosts many crowd-pulling events, like most public arenas in the port city, lacks a public lavatory or urinal. The experience of being hard pressed to respond to nature’s call or getting refreshed at the shower after staging a performance is better imagined than described.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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