The Contribution of ICTs to Sustainable Urbanization and Health in Urban Areas in Cameroon

The Contribution of ICTs to Sustainable Urbanization and Health in Urban Areas in Cameroon

Adolphe Ayissi Eteme (University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon) and Justin Moskolai Ngossaha (University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1210-4.ch030
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The uncontrolled urbanization in African cities with inadequate access to urban domestic waste, housing and sanitation management services (DWHSMS) generates landscapes that become places of the spread of many pathologies leading to many public health problems. The city of Yaoundé (Cameroon) is not an exception in this situation which exposes an urban population to the most recurrent diseases. The situation become more complex in the fact that, the performance of the policies and the actions undertaken implied in developing countries, is not known in a precisely. The information sources are dispersed, old and not coordinated. ICT can, at the service of the great causes like the sustainable urbanization and/or environmental health, constitute the irreplaceable ones and essential decision-making tools. For this purpose, integrated and interoperable YUSIIP platform has proposed and deployed. The objective of this article is to present this Domestic platform and to show its contribution in (DWHSMS).
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1. Introduction

Bad Domestic Waste, Housing, Sanitation Management Services (DWHSMS), and the absence of the application of law on the matter presents enormous consequences on health, the environment and the individuals living environment, particularly in the African cities, notably the town of Yaoundé, capital of Cameroon, concerned with our research tasks (Wéthé et al., 2002). The population of the city increases each year by 6% on average since 2001. This population growth appears by the increase in the domestic waste production, the proliferation of the shantytowns and the weakening safety systems, hygiene and sanitation. Each one of these factors can largely improve or degrade health in urban area and the city environment (economic and social situation, security and food quality, service of sanitary emergencies management, urban governance, etc.). According to the cases, they can also involve the proliferation of several fatal diseases as well as imbalances in ecosystems (Manegabe et al., 2017). The consequences of the dysfunction of their management systems on living environment and the natural ecosystem gain more and more in importance. They challenge all the actors implied to make suitable decisions and the proper authorities to make management of these factors the priority of their action.

Since about ten years, initiatives of the public authorities, private and public organizations, regional and local authorities and universities (Ngnikam et al., 2002; Fonkou et al., 2002) are being multiplied in Cameroon faced with the environmental degradation and urban area health. The informal sector, NGOs and associations joined the movement which aims at:

  • Domestic waste management: The treatment and the valorization of domestic waste play a key role in the fight against the environmental pollution and the conservation of natural resources (Aloueimine et al., 2006);

  • The housing management: The spontaneous and precarious shantytowns very populated cover more than 70% of urban space where the lack of basic services such water and the cleaning constitutes a vector of propagation of many pathologies which are posing multiple public health problems (the complication of paludism, respiratory infections acute, infections of the digestive system, etc.), as well as the environmental factors exposure to the health risks (Sy et al., 2011);

  • The sanitation management: This management falls on the municipalities which must build and manage the autonomous drainage systems, main sources of diffuse pollution, not easily controllable (Wéthé et al., 2002), etc.

However, these initiatives of the public authorities, municipalities, private and public organizations, and NGOs and associations implied, faced with the degradation of the socio-sanitary and environmental conditions, encounter some problems related, on the one hand, on the organizational level, with the accelerated urbanization, the impoverishment of an important frank of the population, with a deficit in means and an insufficient dialogue between the various speakers, on the other hand, on the technical plan, public information on the influential factors on urban health and the academic research results, are very scattered and not always reliable, heterogeneous and difficult of access. The various methodological approaches and the development models of these systems were often unaware of the transverse dimension of the various processes, being limited to the computerization of some functions of the factors (Bagayoko et al., 2010). The risks related to these factors could wellness avoided if the data and knowledge were available (Ayissi & Moskolai, 2017). The lack of data exposes the population and the environment to the proliferation of several fatal diseases, the contamination by the pathogen and chemical substances (Corcoran et al., 2010). Moreover, urban area health would not be truly assured as a long time as the population will be kept out of urban waste management and. This population will continue to throw heterogeneous waste in the streets, drains, waterways, etc., and related risks to this waste could involve a delay on the economic plan through high mortality and morbidity rates which would be followed in the cities (UN- DESA, 2014).

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