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Acute Water Shortage Hits Kumbo Again 

By NformWillibroad B. Nformi

This is the Kumbo Water Authority storage tank that the population once relied on for constant water supply
The population of Kumbo in Bui Division of the Northwest Region is currently experiencing an unprecedented water shortage.

In the administrative headquarters of Tobin, both the young and the old are seen crisscrossing the town during unholy hours in search of the precious liquid.
It is feared that if such situation should persist, the locality risk experiencing an epidemic outbreak.
“In fact, 2017 was one of the most difficult years in the history of Kumbo. We witnessed acute water shortages more than ever before. Some quarters in Kumbo have gone without a drop of water for more than a year and the inhabitants are forced to fetch water from doubtful sources.

We all know the health dangers attached to this,” theMayor of Kumbo, DonatusNjongFonyuy, statedduring a recent Council Session.
The situation is so preoccupying that many inhabitantsare questioning who is responsible for the supply of potable water in the locality.

But it would be recalled that the genesis of the current water crisis started some three years back when the problem of ownership and control of the Kumbo water supply scheme cropped up.
The ownership dispute pitted the Mayor of Kumbo against the Paramount Ruler of the Nso people. While some people claimed that the water scheme, which was donated to the people by the Canadian Government, through the late Prof. Bernard NsokikaFonlonought to be managed directly by the palace, others thought thatthe water scheme could better be handled by the Council as a local Government institution.

But the water supply scheme has over the years been managed by theKumbo Water Authority, KWA, under the supervision of the Council.
The issue of ownership and control of the scheme became so serious that Government had to intervene and conduct an audit of the water management structure.
The result of the audit is still being awaited. In the meantime, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang summoned all the water stakeholders to Yaoundé where it was reportedly agreed as apeace option that the management of the Kumbo Water Scheme should be handed to the Cameroon Water Corporation, CAMWATER.

However, for over two years now, CAMWATER has not come to assume its functions. This has left the population at the mercy of God with nobody to turn to for any solution.
Although a local Technical Committee to handle the water scheme was put in place, its presence is not felt at all. The only consoling situation is that the neighbouring villages to Kumbo town have independent water supply schemes to which Kumbo denizens occasionally resort to.

This includes the Meluf, Melim, Shisong, Kitiwum, Bamkikaai, Romajaai, Kikaikelaki, Kiyan and Kikaikom water supply schemes, but the distance to these localities is another problem on its own.
Meanwhile, due to the rapid growth of the town and its human activities, River Bui, from where Bui Division derives its name, is now highly polluted and no longer fit for any domestic activities, let alone consumption.

Faced with the current situation, an individual at the Meluf vicinity whom this reporter identified asAlhaji Bruno discovered a source and piped it down to Kumbo prisons where Tobin citizens now have as a reliable source of water supply. According to bona fide supplier of the water source, the project which entailed identifying the source, constructing a catchment and piping it down to the Kumbo with two outlets that flow continuously isworth over FCFA 2 million.
Many inhabitants of Kumbo have hailed the good will gesture.
The crowd that invades the place at any given moment in time is indicative of the serious nature of the problem. This reporter recently went down to the spot and found an elderly white Reverend Sister of the Notre Dame Congregation, Tobin, who expressed joy for having discovered the facility.

She had brought along several containers in her car to fetch the water.
Although she was happy discovering the source, she however, expressed total disappointment with the water situation in the town, wondering aloud when the situation will be resolved. Military officials attached to the various army camps constantly fetch water from this source as well.