A person who travels regularly by road from one town to another in Cameroon is more likely to die from an accident than from infectious diseases which also pose public health threats across the country today. Taken aback by increasing reports of scary road accidents on our highways, many are questioning what has suddenly gone wrong. Amid the confusion and tensions these accidents usually generate, it is difficult for public transport officials to remain level-headed when circumventing the situation. And so recent measures to either reduce, dissuade or prevent accidents in Cameroon have paradoxically become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
On the occasion of the celebration of the Ruby Jubilee of the erection of the Diocese of Bamenda in November 2010, it was recommended by the Archdiocesan College of Consultors and the Steering Committee that some of our Laity and Clergy be proposed to the Holy See for Pontifical Awards in recognition and appreciation for their contribution in diverse ways to the work of evangelisation and/or Christian witness in our Archdiocese. I am very happy to inform you that the Holy See has conferred on some members of Christ's Lay Faithful the Papal Award Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Knighthood of St. Sylvester respectively and appointed five members of the Diocesan Clergy as "Chaplains of His Holiness".
From March 13 to 16, 2011, the Bishops of Douala Ecclesiastical Province met at the Douala Archbishop's House, within the framework of their first annual session, which was presided at by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Douala, Mgr. Samuel Kléda.
The Bishops of the Yaoundé Ecclesiastical Province, together with their close collaborators, held their first ordinary session at Kribi, from March 6 to 10, 2011. The session was presided over by His Lordship Bishop Joseph BEFE ATEBA of Kribi Diocese, PECY President.
Spending 40 years in any profession is a remarkable achievement. This is the case with Rev. Fr. Clément Ndjewel, who on Saturday, March 19, celebrated a remarkable milestone in his Priestly Ministry at the Ndogpassi II Sacred Heart Parish, Douala.
Roads are no longer just communication routes, but also places where people spend a great deal of their time. Unfortunately, important as they are, roads in Cameroon are some of the deadliest in the world as thousands are driven to their graves prematurely in fatal road accidents every year. Some of these accidents can be attributed to mechanical faults and poor roads, but a majority have been blamed on human error and reckless driving. Within the framework of her Pastoral Care of the Road, the Catholic Church posits that those who know Christ should be careful on the roads. Many, including Catholics, disregard this prescription and the consequences are dramatic as the number of fatal accidents in Cameroon continues to increase. Since the measures the government has put in place to curb accidents are evidently not working, is the transport sector not an area the Church should evangelise? Take a look at some of Cameroon’s murderous highways.
Accidents may become the rule not an exception in Cameroon if urgents measures are not taken
The rate of fatal road accidents in Cameroon is causing untold grief and pain to many families. The questions arising from this disturbing situation are: why have our roads suddenly become deathtraps? Is the problem poor roads, the recklessness of drivers or both? Are driver's licences genuinely obtained in Cameroon? What is the state of cars plying our highways? Are "blood thirsty road spirits" responsible for increasing accidents on our highways, or has a spell simply been cast on Cameroon's roads?
Driving is a social responsibility though many drivers do not abide by safety regulation or practices. The two most publicised road safety campaigns in Cameroon are carried out in September when students are returning to school from the long vacation, and in December during the festive period.
Our roads are gradually killing more than infectious diseases
Even with growing awareness among road users and multiple road safety campaigns, which the Ministry of Transport launches every year, the number of road accidents keeps soaring and solutions are hard to come by. While these accidents can be attributed to various factors, most, especially in some parts of the North West Region, may be blamed on poor roads.