As the war against Covid-19 rages, the economic setbacks are already clear and boldly written on the fabrics of society. Every household across the world is pricked in some way or the other.
In the North West Region of Cameroon, it is a bad situation getting worse; from the low economic esteem provoked by the Anglophone crisis, Covid-19 imposes its ugly twist.
Faced by scare undisputable, leaders across the globe take drastic measures to contain the dreaded coronavirus. Recently in the North West Region, a communiqué is signed on April 6 by the Regional boss prohibiting the consumption of drinks.
The results of this decision have been the systematic closure of drinking spots, opportunistic businesses crumbling amid rising living cost. The very core of community life is touched; the common man and those who animate daily livelihood of communities have been reduced to idle minds.
Ferdinand, a bar attendant in Bambili has now switched to farming given that it is the farming season in this area. For those who have no farms like Eric another barman who owns a bar at Mile Four, Nkwen, heads a family of four now relies on the food business of his wife for survival.
Though these cases above may have a glimpse of hope, many are a business people; taxi men, bar attendants, roasted fish sellers, puff balls fryers in this part of the country have slumped out of business.
Sitting in a taxi in Bamenda city these days feels comfortable as if to say, this is not happening in Cameroon. This notwithstanding comes with cost, a cost in which no party is winning. Taxi fare has almost doubled yet the sweetish-bitter presence of the police and gendarmes on the road whose bribe collection schedule has not changed cannot be escaped.
While passengers cry they pay high fares, the drivers too lament they have been limited to carrying just three passengers yet same bribes like before paid at control posts. Security men on their part can now count the number of vehicles that ply the road daily, thus a drastic drop in their daily return.
Despite the ugly twist of events in the region marked by price hikes and alarming scarcity of commodities in the market, opinion shades in the region are hopeful coronavirus shall live short with possibilities of taming down the pain of the Anglophone crisis on them.
By W J