Douala Spatial Profile (Cameroon)
For more than a decade, Cameroon has been hosting internally displaced persons and refugees, whose numbers have increased in the last five years due to internal and external crises fuelled by religious and political grievances i.e., Anglophone crisis, Boko Haram, instability in Central African Republic (CAR). Cameroon currently hosts CAR refugees, Nigerian refugees, urban refugees, and asylum seekers of various nationalities, and IDPs.
Since the resurgence of the conflict in 2015-2016, the increase in the displacements of people to the Littoral region, particularly to Douala, has been observed. As the conflict has become entrenched, the massive influx of populations has been concentrated in Douala 4, which borders the NOSO area. The subdivision of Douala 4 has faced several challenges in meeting the needs of the growing host population and the arrival of IDPs. The exponential demographic growth combined with the pressure on facilities, have led to an uncontrolled urban expansion of the subdivision without good urban planning.
In response to the situation, UN-Habitat, funded by SECO, aims to improve access to reliable services and socio-economic opportunities for displaced populations in Douala through the “Urban Planning & Infrastructure in Migration Contexts Programme”. As a first step, this Spatial Profile was developed for Douala city to improve the spatial understanding of the existing situation. Using a participatory approach, challenges, provisions, and gaps in public infrastructure services were identified and mapped, and presented at the national, regional, and local scales. Charrettes to validate data were organised, and technical committees for consultation were created. The pilot neighbourhood of Mambanda was selected to be detailed further through recommendations in the Visioning and scenario building stages coming up.