The Socioeconomic and Environmental Implications of Urban Sprawl on the Coastline of Douala-Cameroon. Options for Integrated Coastal Management

Master's Thesis, 2013

167 Pages, Grade: A (91/100)


Table of Contents


List of Acronyms

List of Figures

List of Plates

List of Tables

List of Graphs

1 General Introduction and Background Information
1.1 General Introduction
1.1.1 Problem Statement
1.1.2 Research Questions
1.1.3 Hypotheses
1.1.4 Research Objectives Specific Objectives General Objectives
1.1.5 Scope of the Study
1.1.6 Research Methodology
1.1.7 Time Schedule of Study
1.1.8 Structure of the Thesis
1.1.9 Problems Associated with Data Collection
1.1.10 Delimitation of Study Area Thematic Delimitation Temporal Delimitation Spatial Delimitations
1.2 Background Information
1.2.1 Environmental Factors Climate Vegetation and Wildlife Hydrography
1.2.2 Socioeconomic Factors Population Health Education Economy Agriculture Industrialization Employment Socio-political Issues of the Douala Coastal Space

2 Literature Review and Theoretical Framework
2.1 Literature Review.
2.1.1 History and Definition of Keywords Roots of Urban Sprawl Definition of Urban Sprawl History of Integrated Coastal Management Definition of Integrated Coastal Management Definition of Coastal Area
2.2 Causes of Urban Sprawl
2.2.1 Population Growth
2.2.2 The Lack of a Comprehensive Master Plan
2.2.3 Industrialization
2.2.4 Expectations of Land Appreciation and Speculation
2.2.5 Lack of Proper Planning Policies and Failure to Enforce Planning Policies
2.3 The Implication of Urban Sprawl
2.3.1 Disparity in Wealth
2.3.2 Impacts on the Ecosystem.
2.3.3 Loss of Agricultural Land
2.3.4 Increased in Social Cost
2.3.5 Impacts on Water Quality and Quantity
2.4 Importance of Coastal Areas
2.4.1 Physical Importance Shoreline Stabilization Maintenance of Water Quality
2.4.2 Socioeconomic Importance Fishing and Aquaculture Generation of Electricity Tourists Asset
2.5 Management Options to Address Urban Sprawl
2.5.1 Geographic Information System.
2.5.2 Integrated Spatial Planning
2.5.3 Smart Growth
2.6 Theoretical Framework
2.6.1 Bid Rent Theory
2.6.2 Concentric Zone Theory
2.6.3 Sector Model
2.6.4 Multiple Nuclei Theory
2.6.5 DPSIR Framework

3 Circumscribing Urban Sprawl in Douala-Cameroon
3.1 Typology of Buildings
3.1.1 The Temporary Buildings
3.1.2 Definite Buildings (The Standard Way)
3.1.3 Definite Buildings (The Luxury)
3.2 Forms of Sprawl in Douala
3.2.1 Low density sprawl
3.2.2 Leapfrog Development
3.2.3 Ribbon Sprawl
3.3 Causes of Urban Sprawl in Douala
3.3.1 Pre-colonial Period
3.3.2 Colonial Period
3.3.3 Post-colonial Period Structural Adjustment Program and Economic Instability Government Policy Population Growth Accessibility
3.4 The Implication of Urban Sprawl on the Coast of Douala
3.4.1 Socioeconomic Implications Health Education
3.4.2 Environmental Implications Effect on Fresh Water Effect on Sea Water Resources Effect on Mangrove

4 A Recapitulation of Urban Planning Policy and the Analysis of Gaps in Cameroon
4.1 Stakeholders Involved in Urban Planning in Cameroon
4.1.1 At the Institutional Level Ministerial Level MAETUR. S.I.C
4.1.2 At the Municipal Level Douala Urban Council (CUD) HYSACAM (Hygienne et Salubrité du Cameroun)
4.2 Gaps in Cameroon’s Urban Planning Policy
4.2.1 Obsolete Master Plan
4.2.2 Inadequate Implementation of Land Use Plan
4.2.3 Misappropriation of Urban Planning Tools
4.2.4 Inadequate Qualified Staff
4.2.5 Insufficient Exertion of Functions
4.2.6 Conflicting Functions
4.2.7 Land Ownership Problems

5 Xiamen Integrated Coastal Management: A Hope for Cameroon’s Coastal Management
5.1 Xiamen Before the ICM Implementation
5.2 Xiamen After ICM Implementation
5.3 Recommendations

6 Results and Discussion

7 Conclusions and General Recommendations
7.1 Conclusions
7.2 General Recommendations
7.3 Outlook for Further Study


Annex - 1: Acknowledgement

Annex - 2: Questionnaires


The geodynamics of the coastal stretch naturally serve as a convergence point for anthropogenic settlements world-wide. On a global scale, coastal areas occupy 20 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet they harbour approximately 50 percent of human population living within 200 km of the coast (UN, 2002). The continuous occupancy of the coastal milieu with limited resources and increasing economic hardship has resulted to uncoordinated spatial layout of urban settlement, termed urban sprawl. Urban sprawl, though not a new phenomenon, remains a challenge for most decision makers of the world, of which, Cameroon is not an exception. The challenge is further compounded by the fact that sprawl is not well circumscribed as there is no universally accepted definition for it.

This paper, therefore, addresses the socioeconomic and environmental implications of urban sprawl on the coastline of Douala-Cameroon by making use of qualitative and quantitative research methodology. Emphatic analyses of some of the hypothesis are made with the use of land value models of William Alonso, Earnest Burgess, Chauncy Harris, and Edward Ullman. Douala, the economic capital and main seaport of Cameroon, is the industrial nerve of the country. Douala harbours almost 80% of the Cameroon’s industries (Angwe and Gabche, 1997) and because of the nature and varied economic activity; it is the fastest growing area of Cameroon. The fast growing nature of the town coupled with poor management strategies have meant that there is a lot of pressure exerted on its coastal resources. There is, therefore, a need for proposed long-lasting solutions to reverse or attenuate the prevailing situation. This study elucidates a brief background of Cameroon and paints a vivid picture on the morphological aspect of sprawl as well as its socioeconomic connotations. The work also examines the key players involved in shaping the urban planning process in Douala and further x-ray gaps inhibiting sustainable urban planning in Cameroon.

Moreover, the paper examines Xiamen’s socioeconomic and environmental atmosphere before and after the implementation of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and, it is, however, deduced that, the entrusting of more powers to local governments to implement new environmental laws and welcoming of multilateral and bilateral assistance by the Chinese Central Government acted as a crunch since the introduction of ICM (Chen and Juha, 2003). Moreso, the political will bestowed by the Xiamen municipal authorities, the involvement and inculcation of relevant stakeholders, the creation of a multi-agency council and the acquisition of sea-use zoning scheme are all ground breaking points that emblems Xiamen’s ICM success stories. Today, with the successful implementation of ICM, Xiamen has built herself a dual reputation of a vibrant economy and a comprehensive ecological atmosphere.

The findings of the work portray that sprawl in Cameroon is orchestrated by inadequate policy implementation, archaic master plan, inadequate information dissemination to the public, inequality in the distribution of resources among the different regions of the State and above all, the gaps elucidated by the traditional form of management. The work upholds that livelihood strategies and environmental protection are intricately linked, and therefore, there is a need for ICM as the management approach blends the two adequately. Based on the experience drawn from Xiamen ICM, the study concludes that Douala needs an autonomous coastal interagency to address the gaps punctuated by sectoral management, and thus, enhance the sustainable management of its coastal milieu.

Key Words: Urban Sprawl, Integrated Coastal Management, Coastal Area, Land Value, Douala-Cameroon.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Acronyms

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of Figures

Figure 1: Flow Chart Summarizing the Research Methodology

Figure 2: Location of Study Area

Figure 3: Annual Precipitation in Douala

Figure 4: Hydrography of Douala

Figure 5: Physical Patterns Defining Sprawl (Galster et al., 2001)

Figure 6: Impact of Sprawl on Social Cost

Figure 7: Schematic Summary of the Causes and Consequences of Urban Sprawl

Figure 8: Summary Importance of Coastal Areas

Figure 9: Bid Rent Curve

Figure 10: Concentric Zone Theory

Figure 11: Sector Model

Figure 12: Multiple Nuclei of Urban Spatial Structure

Figure 13: The Driving Forces-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses Framework

Figure 14: Low Density Sprawl in Makepe-Douala

Figure 15: Leapfrogging Sprawl, Latitude 4o02'10E &4o1'52N and Longitude 9o49'13E and 9o49'21, Douala

Figure 16: Ribbon Sprawl, P 14-Douala

Figure 17: Coffee Production and Exports (000 Bags) 1970-2009

Figure 18: SAP as a Contributing Factor to Urban Sprawl

Figure 19: Exposure to Disease Vectors, such as Mosquitoes

Figure 20: Problem Tree of Disease Prevalence

Figure 21: Problem Analyses on Water Quality

Figure 22: DPSIR Illustration of Sprawl Impact

Figure 23: Functional Relation of ICM Within the Coastal Esplanade

Figure 24: Toward the Reduction in Sectoral Conflict by the Establishment of an Autonomous Coastal Agency

Figure 25: Pie Chart Showing the Source of Mangrove as Fuel Wood

Figure 26: Variation in Land Use from the Planned Section of Bonamoussadi

Figure 27: Variation in Land Use form Different Areas of Douala

List of Plates

Plate 1: Temporary Structure Erected with Wood (Carabotte)

Plate 2: Standard Structure Erected with Blocks

Plate 3: Buildings Categorized as Luxury in Douala

Plate 4: Buildings Categorized as Luxury in Douala

Plate 5: Poor Allocation an Unhygienic Toiletry Stations: A) Less than 1cm Toilet in Mabanda, B) Sewage Oozing from a Toilet in Bonaberi, C) and D) are Constructed Directly on a Swamp at Venice-Bonaberi

Plate 6: Difficult Accessibility Due to Poor Planning

Plate 7: Poorly Disposed Household Wastes Lingering on the Road

Plate 8: Wonton Cutting of Mangrove for Fuel Wood: A) Bonassama and B) Pont Noir

Plate 9: Wonton Cutting of Mangrove for Local Construction

Plate 10: Sand Mining Boanassama Beach-Douala

Plate 11: The Impact of Sedimentation on the Mangrove Ecosystem, Mabanda-Douala

Plate 12: Waste Dumping by ALPICAM in Mabanda Leading to Sedimentation

Plate 13: Illegal Occupation of the Coastline and those Exposed to Flooding

Plate 14: Rampant Construction of Houses on Prohibited Areas. A) Bonaberi; B) Village; C) Venice; and D) Bonasama

Plate 15: Yundang Lake before 1994

Plate 16: Douala Coast 2012

Plate 17: Yundang Lake before 1994

Plate 18: Faecal Sludge-Douala Coast 2012

Plate 19: Eastern Sea Area before ICM Implementation

Plate 20: Beautiful Array of Yuandan Lake

Plate 21: Poor Road and Drainage Maintenance

Plate 22: Traditional Pit Toilet

Plate 23: Degradation of the Douala Coastline

List of Tables

Table 1: Time Schedule of Study

Table 2: Annual Temperature and Precipitation-Douala

Table 3: Summary Definitions of Urban Sprawl

Table 4: Repartition of Population by Sub-Divisions-Douala

Table 5: Land Use and Cover Changes from 1974, 2003 and 2009 of Douala (Cameroon) Peri-urban Setting

Table 6: Summary of Role of Stakeholders Involved in the Planning of Douala

Table 7: Resource Use Conflict in Xiamen, China

Table 8: Measures Taken to Address Environmental Problems in Xiamen

List of Graphs

Graph 1: Employment Structure of Cameroon

Graph 2: Underemployment by Sector (in percent) 2010

Graph 3: Repartition of Population by Sub-Divisions

Graph 4: Sanitation Coverage in Seven Low-income Districts (2002)

Graph 5: Land Use Cover of Douala (Cameroon) Peri-urban Setting 1974, 2003 and 2009

Graph 6: Source of Drinking Water

Graph 7: Disease Prevalence

Graph 8: Annual Health Expenditure (FCFA)

Graph 9: Annual Visits to the Hospital

Graph 10: Household Monthly Income

Graph 11: Type of Toilets

Graph 12: Number of People per Household

Graph 13: Occupation of Respondents

Graph 14: Location of Solid Wastes Discharge

Graph 15: Energy Source for Cooking (In Percentage)

Graph 16: Land Ownership Situation

Chapter - 1

1 General Introduction and Background Information

1.1 General Introduction

Coastal areas are rich in economic, social, natural and political resources[1], and thus serve as a pull factor to population concentration. The high concentration of people in coastal areas has produced numerous economic benefits, including improved transportation links, industrial and urban development, revenue from tourism, and food production. However, continuous influx of people to these areas have meant that there is a lot of pressure exerted on the limited coastal resources, and therefore, there is need for rational management. Some of the challenges plaguing these coastal areas are: pollution from industrial and domestic wastes, pollution from shipping and oil terminals, sea level rise as a result of climate change, overfishing, deforestation, and more specially unplanned urbanization which has propagated sprawling habitats as standard of living continues to dwindle (FAO, 2012).

Nicholls et al. (2007) points out that rapid population growth, urban sprawl, and growing demand for coastal resorts development have additional deleterious effects on protective coastal ecosystems. The continuous degradation of the coastal areas is more visible in developing countries having limited technology, as compared to the developed world. Not only is there a great disparity in population concentration between the hinterlands and the coastal areas but a greater disparity in an ever increasing urban coastal communities and a continuous decreasing rural population on the same coastal stretch. This changing disparity necessitates enormous potentials both human and physical but it is rather unfortunate that gaps in management coupled with limited resource cannot keep the pace with unprecedented anthropogenic fashioning of the coast. If timely measures are not taken, population pressures and the associated levels of economic activity will further degrade many coastal habitats (Creel, 2004). The challenge for policymakers and coastal resource managers is there to figure out how to balance the economic benefits of coastal resources while ensuring environmental sustainability. Pinpointing anthropogenic hurdles is fundamental to achieving such a balance.

This paper, therefore, seeks to address coastal degradation in Douala-Cameroon as orchestrated by urban sprawl which is fueled by inappropriateness in policies coupled with the laxity in Cameroon’s bureaucratic proceedings. The study maintains that, integrated coastal management (ICM) which has made significant progress in Southeast Asia and particularly in Xiamen, China, is a glaring opportunity for decision makers in Cameroon, and if exploited carefully, could reverse the prevailing situation.

1.1.1 Problem Statement

The progressive degradation of the coastal area of Cameroon constitutes one of the major environmental problems for that country today. Despite the growing public concern and increasing political rhetoric, most actions have been relatively ineffective in dealing with this problem. The face of Douala is changing at a rapid rate and as the population increases so does the imminent threat to its coastal ecosystems. Urban sprawl has become a problem at the forefront of the Cameroon government’s concerns, and for a good reason. Development has inhibited the proper sustainability and balance within the ecosystem, and without necessary implementation of current land-use policies, this devastation will continue to deplete the natural resources. Douala, the economic capital and main seaport of Cameroon, is the industrial nerve of the country. Douala harbors almost 80% of the Cameroon’s industries (Angwe and Gabche, 1997), and because of the nature and varied economic activity; it is the fastest growing area of Cameroon. It is the most urbanized with a huge resident population (about 2,000,000 inhabitants)[2]. The fast growing nature of the town, coupled with poor management strategies, have meant that there is a lot of pressure exerted on it coastal resources. There is, therefore, a need for proposed long lasting solutions to reverse or attenuate the prevailing situation.

1.1.2 Research Questions

A number of questions are designed to lead towards a better understanding of urban sprawl in Doula-Cameroon and eventually formulate adequate measures to address it. The following are the research questions that guide this work:

What are the major driving forces of urban sprawl in Douala?

What is the relationship between urban sprawl and environmental protection?

How do inappropriate policies impact the livelihood of Douala coastal dwellers?

How can nefarious socioeconomic and environmental implication on the coast of Douala be attenuated?

1.1.3 Hypotheses

This research is based on the following assumptions:

Poor urban planning leads to the emergence of urban sprawl.

The inability of the city council to provide social services to the growing urban population exacerbates urban sprawl.

Poverty is a cause of coastal degradation.

Weak urban policy enforcement is behind the coastal degradation in Douala.

Sectoral management in Cameroon is a contributor to urban sprawl and its resultant socioeconomic and environmental implications

Integrated coastal management is absolutely necessary to reverse ongoing deterioration of the littoral zone of Cameroon

Poor or insufficient information dissemination to the general public is a contributing factor to urban sprawl in Cameroon.

1.1.4 Research Objectives Specific Objectives

One of the major impacts of urban land cover dynamics is a shrinking amount of cultivated land through the development of infrastructures and various development projects. Therefore, urban land use change studies are important tools for urban or regional planners and decision makers to consider the impact of urban sprawl. The results of this study would provide relevant information for contribution to the environmental management plans and improve urban planning issues. This information is also expected to:

Examine the causes of sprawl in Douala.

Portray the implications of urban sprawl on the coast of Douala-Cameroon.

Examine the gaps in Cameroon’s urban planning policy and environmental policy. General Objectives

Identify and document the prevailing state of urban sprawl on the coast of Douala-Cameroon.

Conduct a thorough appraisal of the urban planning policy in Cameroon.

Critically examine the measures used by the Douala city council to improve the city council area, physically, socially, and economically.

Determine the planning regulations and policies that govern urban development and land use in Douala, and the degree of implementation and application of such policies by the different stakeholders.

Use integrated coastal management to proffer recommendations that will serve a comprehension for efficient and effective management of urban sprawl and its nefarious effects on the coast of Cameroon.

1.1.5 Scope of the Study

The present thesis aims to address the problem of urban sprawl in the perspective of a developing country with Douala, a coastal city as the case under investigation. In recent years, Douala-Cameroon has seen unprecedented growth spatially and economically leading to sprawl. It is in this setting that the present study aims to address the problem of sprawl in Douala-Cameroon.

1.1.6 Research Methodology

The issue of urban sprawl is of crucial importance in urban growth management all over the world. The patterns of urban spatial development are highly complex and require theoretical and methodological framework. The term methodology, in a broad perspective, refers to the processes, principles, and procedures by which a problem is approached to seek answers (Bogdan and Taylor, 1975). Methodology comprises data collection, organization, and interpretation (Riley, 1963). It applies as to how the research is being conducted.

In order to realize this thesis, the study made use of primary and secondary data sources. Secondary data included relevant information in the international scientific fields, diverse literature from international scientific journals, environmental progress reports, information from internet websites, reports by governmental agencies, and NGOs; and thus substantial knowledge was gathered and a review of what other scientists have written on relevant issues with the research topic was composed.

In an attempt to better understand the topic and produce a good plan of the present work, recourse to articles, reports, thesis, and books from the central library of the University of Yaounde I, the library at the Geography Department of the University of Yaounde I, l'Association des Etudiants de la Faculté des Arts, Lettres et Sciences Humaines (AEFALSH) library, Centre Cuturelle François Villon, The technical department of the Douala City Council, (IRAD) Institute de Recherché Agronomique et de Développement was made. Additionally, the National Institute of Cartography (NIC) was important in the elaboration of maps. The regional and divisional delegation of agriculture, the delegation of fisheries and livestock industry were of great importance in documentary research. The Bureau Central de Recensements et d’Etude de Population (BUCREP) was consulted for relevant demographic statistics. Also, the following government ministries of Cameroon were consulted for r issues relevant to institutional matters concerning coastal space management.

Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection:
Ministry of Industries, Mines, and Technological development; Ministry of Water and Energy; Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation; and Ministry of Public works
Ministry of Urban Planning
Ministry of Higher Education
The Douala Urban Councils
NGOs, such as World Wildlife Fund for nature protection, etc.

On the basis of primary data, questionnaires, historical linings, interviews, and visual appreciation through pictures were used to collect raw data from the field. This questionnaire was used to obtain information on waste management, housing and livelihood strategies (Pages 133-151). The questionnaire facilitated a good appraisal of the linkages between socioeconomic aspects and their influence on the coastal environment. Moreover, interviews were conducted with available state officials in Cameroon, lecturers from Xiamen University, and other stakeholders representing the different sectors along the Douala coastal space.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Flow Chart Summarizing the Research Methodology

Source: Authors Work

1.1.7 Time Schedule of Study

This study was designed to last for10 months. That is, from September, 2012 to June, 2013. The schedule encompassed activities such as development of research tools, field research, analysis and research writing (Table 1).

Table 1: Time Schedule of Study

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Author’s work

1.1.8 Structure of the Thesis

This thesis addresses the problem of urban sprawl with an interdisciplinary perspective. In the first chapter, a general introduction and the background of the study areas is presented. The second chapter tackles the literature review and theoretical framework. In the third chapter, causes and implications of urban sprawl are discussed by presenting them in three different periods. The fourth chapter portrays a recapitulation of the urban planning policy in Cameroon; this chapter also evaluates certain policy options and analyses to arrive at appropriate policy recommendations for managing urban sprawl. The fifth chapter presents a brief insight of Xiamen Integrated Coastal. The sixth chapter presents the results and discussions while the final chapter presents conclusions, along with summary of the research and recommendations for future work, and outlines the remaining challenges in managing urban sprawl.

1.1.9 Problems Associated with Data Collection

The study was subjected to such constraints as the non-availability of important related literature works and text. More so, the high cost (for a student having rather limited financial resources) of gathering of data in different environs, libraries, etc., especially in terms of distance from Xiamen, China, to Cameroon and above all some other research source locations..

Lengthy and complicated bureaucratic procedures were among the most challenging problems faced while collecting the data. In case of most government offices, appointment(s), in advance, had to be made to see the authority in charge. This requirement became even more difficult at some regional delegations where provision of an authorization duly signed by the Minister was required; the latter happened at the Regional Delegation of Town Planning and Housing leading to rather painful delay in data collection.

Lack of important information on environmental issues, fisheries, agriculture, etc., from ministerial departments in Douala was another major setback to this study. For example, information on mangroves was completely lacking in the Regional and Divisional Delegations of the Environment and Forestry, including the complete absence of data and information on land reclamation, pollution, and deforestation within the estuary from the department of environment. The department of agriculture was completely lacking the information on farming impacts on the estuary, including the type of fertilizers and pesticides used and the quantities, soil erosion, the number of farmers and the size of their farming units, and socioeconomic impacts of farming within the estuary. The problem of outdated information and maps cannot be overemphasized. The city of Douala is still being managed with the Master plan drawn more than 50 years ago in 1959, when Cameroon was still under colonial rule, despite the numerous demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental changes that have taken place in the subsequent more than five decades.

Other major problems included the almost complete lack of documentation and data in English, as well as hostility, and suspicion from some public authorities and slum dwellers, wood and sand dealers, etc. A vast majority (95%) of the documents obtained in the field were in French, requiring translation before they could be used in this study. This translation has been very time-consuming, tedious, and not without some minor errors and irregularities. However, despite these shortcomings, a thorough and solid scientific work worthy of emulation, though requiring very rigorous efforts, has been compiled.

1.1.10 Delimitation of Study Area

This study was delimited on a triple plan. That is thematic, temporal, and spatial delimitation. Thematic Delimitation

This study “The Socioeconomic and Environmental Implications of Urban Sprawl on the Coast of Douala: Options for Integrated Coastal Management” addresses the background information (physical and economic factors), the reasons behind sprawl and its concomitant implication, a diagnostic analysis of the urban planning policy and the role played by the various stakeholders involved to overhaul or mitigate the ongoing situation. Temporal Delimitation

The study is aimed at portraying the environmental situation of Douala viz-a-vis anthropogenic forces as well as biotic factors. The work does so by looking at three different periods. That is, the pre-colonial (before 1884); during the colonial period (1884-1960); and the post-colonial period (1960 to present). Spatial Delimitations

Cameroon lies within the geocoordinates: latitudes 1°45΄N to 13°΄N and longitude 8°25΄E to 16°28΄E. It is situated on the west coast of Africa, running north to south from the Sahara Desert to the Atlantic Ocean. The country is bounded on the north by Lake Chad; on the east by the country, Chad, and the Central African Republic; on the south by the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea; and on the west by the Bight of Biafra (an arm of the Atlantic Ocean) and Nigeria (Figure 1). The country is shaped like an elongated triangle, and forms a bridge between West Africa and Central Africa. Cameroon has a total area of 475,442 km2. At 475,442 square kilometers, Cameroon is the world's 53rd-largest country[3]. Yaoundé is the capital, and Douala (latitude 03 ° 40'-04 ° 11 'N, longitude 09 ° 16'-09 ° 52' E, altitude 13 m) is the largest city. The major industries (petroleum refineries, fishing industries, international air transports, and others) are located in this region.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: Location of Study Area

Source: Modified from Google Maps

1.2 Background Information

1.2.1 Environmental Factors Climate

Douala city, with an average temperature of 26.4°C has a hyper humid equatorial climate (Cameroonian type) with a single long rainy season (unimodal type), particularly abundant and presenting local nuances moderated by the breeze of the sea (Dibong et al., 2010).

The dry season extends from December to February and the rainy season from March to August. Douala receives approximately 4000 mm of water per annum. July and August are usually the peak months of the rainy season, with a low total of 207.4 mm in July 2003 and one year (August1966) with over 1240 mm. The rains are usually from January to December, though December, January and February are occasionally dry.

The mean maximum relative humidity occurs here due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean (exposed to the warm Guinean Gulf’s currents). Here, the type and intensity of the weather is determined by the meridional variations in the depth of the monsoon layer (moisture); the southwest (SW) monsoon flow at lower levels is the source of humidity to a large extent determined by the large scale atmospheric circulation and sea-air interaction over much of the tropical Atlantic sector (Lamb, 1983). Douala Cameroon (about 4ºN) is well usually marked by a zone with deep active and convective clouds, thunderstorms, and squall lines (SW winds) and heavy precipitations. The African Waves are often associated with Squall lines that form, develop, and dissipate within the waves.

Table 2: Annual Temperature and Precipitation-Douala

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Weatherbase

Figure 3: Annual Precipitation in Douala

Source: Vegetation and Wildlife

The Douala coastal zone is characterized by an extensive estuary. The estuaries are a global marine biodiversity hotspots (Ninan, 2009). The mudflats and mangrove forests are home to many water birds, and are breeding grounds for fish, shrimp, and other wildlife. They can be classified as wetlands of international importance according to the criteria under the Ramsar convention. (Napoleon and Chi, 2007). The estuary is home to the Cameroon ghost shrimp, which periodically develops into dense swarms. At these times, people catch huge quantities, eating the females or drying them for later use, and making fish oil from the males.

In Cameroon, there are 188,000 ha in total of mangrove forest in the estuary. A large block of mangroves 20 km deep on the north shore extends 35 km up-estuary. The mangrove forest is interrupted by Bodeaka Bay and Moukouchou Bay, which form wide waterways through the swamp. On the south shore of the estuary, mangroves extend from Douala to Point Soulelaba, the end of the spit that separates the estuary from the sea. These mangroves are divided by the Dibamba River and by Monaka Bay and Island (Hughes, 1992). About 15,000 ha of the mangrove forest are within the Mouanko Reserve, which extends from the south shore of the estuary to the Sanaga River mouth. The mangrove, Rhizophora racemosa, which makes up over 90% of mangroves, in Cameroon, reaches a height of 40 m in the Wouri estuary (Spalding et al., 2010). Nypa fruticans, an exotic species imported to Nigeria from South-East Asia, has been spreading quickly, encouraged by the local people (Saenger, 2002).

The mangrove forests are an important source of wood for making furniture and fences, for smoking fish and for fuel. The leaves of N. fruticans are used for thatching house walls and roofs (Atheull et al., 2009). The mangroves act as a buffer zone, protecting the coast against the worst effects of storms (Ninan, 2009). However, there are no effective controls on mangrove logging, and the Wouri estuary has undergone substantial deforestation (Thieme, 2005). Hydrography

The Douala coast lies to the east of Mount Cameroon and the rivers here empty their water into the Bight of Biafra. These rivers include the Mungo, Wouri, and Dibamba. The coast is characterized by an estuary which lies in the Douala Basin, a low-lying depression about 30 m on average about sea level, with many creeks, sand bars and lagoons (Yerima et al., 2005). The Wouri alluvial aquifer[4], a multi-layer system with alternating sequences of marine sands and estuarine mud and silt, lies below the estuary and surrounding region and is an important source of well water. The upper aquifer in this system is an unconfined sandy horizon that is hydraulically connected to the brackish waters to the coastal wetlands (Xu et al., 2006). The spring tides[5] at the mouth of the estuary are 2.8 m. Rainfall is from 4,000 mm to 5,000 mm annually. Salinity is very low, particularly during the rainy season. Surface salinity of 0.4% is common around Douala throughout the year. The Mungo River splits into numerous small channels that empty into the estuary complex (Yerima et al., 2005). The tidal waves[6] in the bay travel as far as 40 km up the Mungo. In this section of the river, large flats and sand banks are exposed under low tide conditions. The Wouri is affected by the tides for 45 km above Douala, with blocks of tidal forest along its shores throughout this stretch. (Austen et al., 1999). To the west of the estuary, the slopes of Mount Cameroon are covered with banana plantations. To the northeast, the mangroves are backed by freshwater tidal swamps 5 km wide. One block of freshwater swamps between Muyuka and Dibombari covers 7,500 ha. There are still some patches of permanent swamp forest on the Dibamba River, but many others have been cleared and drained for oil palm plantation. The river's fauna are not well protected; particularly endangered is the African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 4: Hydrography of Douala

Source: Douala Urban Concil

1.2.2 Socioeconomic Factors Population

The results of the 3rd General Population and Housing Census (GPHC), concluded in 2005, indicated that there were 17, 463, 836 inhabitants in Cameroon. However, current statistics show that as of 1st January 2010, the population of Cameroon stood at 19, 406, 100 inhabitants. This growth trend confirms the fact that there is a steady upward population growth potential in the country (the average annual population growth rate is estimated at 2.8 % during the 1976-2005 period and at 2.6 % between 2005 and 2010) (Cameroon‘s National Institute of Statistics, 2010).

The 1976 official national population census figures put the population of metropolitan Douala at 458,426. With an annual growth rate in excess of 8% per annum, the estimated population of the area today is 2.5 million enjoying the fastest growing rate of urbanization (Asangwe, 2006), and comprises 10.1% of the total population of Cameroun, and 73.8% of the total population of the Littoral Region, though it covers a surface area of just 923 km², of a total population of Littoral region, placed at 20,239 km².

Cameroon‘s National Institute of Statistics, 2010, provides the demographic and economic data of Douala based on the 2005 nationwide population census and the 2009 enterprise census, which are indicative of the growing population and economic strength of Douala. Douala is clearly the most urbanized city in Cameroon, enjoying yet rapidly growing population density. Health

The Ministry of Public Health is responsible for the maintenance of all public health services. Many missionaries maintain health and leprosy centers. The government is pursuing a vigorous policy of public health improvement, with considerable success in reducing sleeping sickness, leprosy, and other endemic diseases. The demand for all types of health services and equipment is high and constant. The need for modern equipment is especially urgent, with many clinics using outdated equipment, some of which is imported illegally from Nigeria.

Malaria is prevalent in the Bénoué River Valley, the basin of Lake Chad, the coastal region, and the forests of southern Cameroon. A large percentage of the adult population is affected. Other serious waterborne diseases are schistosomiasis and sleeping sickness, the latter spread by the tsetse fly. Cameroon lies in the yellow fever endemic zone.

As of 2004, there were an estimated 7 physicians, 36 nurses, 1 dentist, and 1 midwife per 100,000 people. Total health care expenditure was estimated at 5% of GDP[7] (Bernhard, 2004).

In 2005, the average life expectancy was 51 years. The estimated death rate in 2002 was 12.08 per 1,000 people and the birth rate was estimated at 35.66 per 1,000 people. As of 1999, only an estimated 19% of the country's married women (ages 15 to 49) used any type of contraception. The infant mortality in 2005 was 65 per 1,000 live births[8].

An estimated 29% of children under the age of five suffered from malnutrition. In the same year, 62% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 92% had adequate sanitation. In 1999, Cameroon immunized children up to one year old for tuberculosis (52%); diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (48%); polio (37%); and measles (31%).

The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 6.90 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 560,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 49,000 deaths from AIDS in 2000. Education

In 2001, the literacy rate of Cameroon was estimated to be 67.9% (77%) for males and 59.8% for females)[9]. Most children have access to state-run schools that are cheaper than private and religious facilities (Mbaku, 2005). The educational system is a mixture of British and French precedents (DeLancey et. al, 2000) with most instruction in English or French. Cameroon has one of the highest school attendance rates in Africa (Mbaku, 2005). Girls attend school less regularly than boys because of cultural attitudes, domestic duties, early marriage and pregnancy, and sexual harassment. Although attendance rates are higher in the south of the country (Mbaku, 2005), a disproportionate number of teachers are stationed there, leaving northern schools chronically understaffed.

As in most large cities in Cameroon, there are several nursery, primary, secondary, and high schools. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of private schools in the cities. More parents tend to send their kids to these schools considering the fairly elevated standards of the way they are managed. The cities have a vibrant academic population which is visible during morning rush hours. It is interesting to note that there is also a large informal educational sector that caters for a huge part of the population; mostly individuals with a primary school certificate or those with no education at all. This form of education is common in sectors, such as cloth manufacturing, bread making, construction, security, car repairs, etc. Individuals from these informal sectors are by far the most visible in deprived neighborhoods, such as Bonaberi, Ndokoti, Bepanda, Village, Logbaba. Economy

Cameroon is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including agriculture, mining, forestry, and the oil and gas sectors. Cameroon is the commercial and economic leader in the sub-region, though regional trade, and is highly dependent on commodity exports, and swings in world prices strongly affect its growth. Cameroon's per-capita GDP estimated as US$2,300 in 2008 was one of the ten highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Major export markets include France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom, and more recently China. Cameroon has enjoyed a decade of strong economic performance, with an average GDP growth of 4 percent per year (CIA World Fact Book, 2007). During the 2004-2008 periods, public debt was reduced from over 60 percent of GDP to 10 percent and official reserves quadrupled to over USD 3 billion. Cameroon is part of the Bank of Central African States (of which it is the dominant economy), the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC), and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) (CEA-BAC, 2005).

Agriculture, which constitutes about 46%, is the main driving force of the country's economic life-wire followed by services (33%), and industry (21%). Meanwhile, the occupational labour force is 70% agriculture, 13% commerce and industry, and 17% other services (Billa, 2008). The UNDP Human Poverty Index for Cameroon was 35.9, positioning the nation as the 58th poorest among 94 developing countries according to the Costa Rica's Profile of Selected Countries (UNDP, 2003a). The economy of the city of Douala is strongly influenced by the port, industrial, commerce, tourism, and fisheries sectors. The commercial sector is dominated by retailing (94.0% of activities). It involves principally agro-alimentary products (fruits and vegetables, cereals, tubers, meat, fish, beverages, etc.) which constitute 56%, followed closely by the textiles and accessories sector (22%), and diverse other products destined for household consumption. Among the services, the most important has been found to be restaurant services which includes notably street and mobile food sellers in operation for numerous years; Repair services and transportation services principally urban transportation services - taxis and motorbikes, and interurban transport of the merchandise and people. Other important services in Douala include hairdressing and other personal services; telecommunication and internet services. The informal sector which most of the above services are characterized is strongly represented in Douala as well as other Cameroonian cities and constitutes mainly small business unit. Douala is also the centre of industrial activities, such as food processing and heavy manufacturing, such as cement. Agriculture

Cameroon's natural resources are very well suited for agriculture and arboriculture. An estimated 70% of the population farms, and agriculture comprised an estimated 19.8% of GDP in 2009[10]. Most agriculture is done at the subsistence scale by local farmers using simple tools. They sell their surplus produce, and some maintain separate fields for commercial use. Urban centres are particularly reliant on peasant agriculture for their foodstuffs. Soils and climate on the coast encourage extensive commercial cultivation of banana, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, and tea. Inland on the South Cameroon Plateau, cash crops include coffee, sugar, and tobacco. Coffee is a major cash crop in the western highlands, and in the north, natural conditions favour crops, such as cotton, groundnuts, and rice. Reliance on agricultural exports makes Cameroon vulnerable to shifts in their prices. Cameroon is one of the world's leading cocoa producers; coffee, rubber, bananas, palm products, and tobacco, all grown mainly on plantations, are also commercially important. The principal subsistence crops are banana, cassava, yam, plantain, peanuts, millet, and sorghum. In spite of this diverse agricultural production, only a small percentage of the country's land is cultivated, but food production in Cameroon meets domestic demand despite the occurrence of periodic droughts.

Livestock are raised throughout the country. Fishing industry employs some 5,000 people and provides 20,000 tons of seafood each year[11]. Bush-meat, for long a staple food for rural Cameroonians, is today a delicacy in the country's urban centres. The commercial bush-meat trade has now surpassed deforestation as the main threat to wildlife in Cameroon. Industrialization

Factory-based industry accounted for an estimated 29.7% of GDP in 2009. More than 75% of Cameroon's industrial strength is located in Douala and Bonabéri. Cameroon possesses substantial mineral resources, but these are not extensively mined. Petroleum exploitation has fallen since 1985, but this is still a substantial sector such that dips in prices have a strong effect on the economy. Rapids and waterfalls obstruct the southern rivers, but these sites offer opportunities for hydroelectric development and supply most of Cameroon's energy. The Sanaga River powers the largest hydroelectric station, located at Edéa. The rest of Cameroon's energy comes from oil-powered thermal engines. Much of the country remains without reliable power supplies. Employment

The informal sector in Cameroon absorbs a bulk of the population. Agriculture and non-agricultural activities remain the main provider of employment in Cameroon, with more than 90 percent of the overall labour force (Chart 1). Informality is predominant in urban as well as rural areas and represents the main employer for men as well as for women. Overall, the formal private sector represents less than 4 percent of the labour force, employing essentially men in urban areas. Because it may be easier to enter, most young people find jobs in the informal sector (Graph 1). In 2010, about 92 percent of young people employed were in the informal sector.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Graph 1: Employment Structure of Cameroon

Source: National Institute of Statistic Cameroon, 2010

Unemployment in Cameroon, as strictly defined by the ILO[12], is estimated at only 3.8 percent in 2010. Unemployment in Cameroon is relatively low; underemployment concerns more than 70 percent[13] of the work force. Similarly, to the average unemployed, the average underemployed is a female, but living in a rural area with a much lower education level (Graph 2). Underemployment is mostly associated with the informal agriculture and non-agriculture.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Graph 2: Underemployment by Sector (in percent) 2010

Source: National Institute of Statistics, EEI 2, 2010 Socio-political Issues of the Douala Coastal Space

The Douala region, constituting the built-up area as well as the marine and coastal space, is administered under the Wouri Division of the Littoral province of the Republic of Cameroon. The Douala region, despite its urbanized growth, displays both the urban and rural landscape over the land-water ecosystem of its coastal space. This proximity to the marine environment of the Gulf of Guinea has greatly influenced the administrative setting of both the Douala metropolitan area and its rural landscape. The pertinent environmental issues faced by these two varying landscapes no doubt influenced the administration of the Douala marine and coastal space. The Douala region has a broad embayment as it opens into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean, which now has the metropolis expanding on both sides of the lagoon inlet, while the rural area remains on the creeks to the north and south of the lagoon complex. Today, six sub-divisions under a Divisional Officer each administer the Douala region, while a Governmental Delegate governs the metropolitan area under the urban council. Presently, five of the six divisions, which make up the Wouri Division, are considered as strictly within the urban council and thus has the influence of the Government Delegate. It is the lagoon-creek environment to the south from Youpwe into the marine environment, which now covers the only division that is rural in the Douala area.

The Douala region has grown on a typical marine and coastal space where the old barrier islands were colonized by the Bonandjo, Akwa, Deido, Bepanda Bassa, Bonamoussadi, and the Bonaberi districts, which today support the high population density in the area. Except for the Akwa, Bepanda, and Bassa districts, the Douala lagoon complex still directly influences all the other aforementioned districts. The Douala area, therefore, has the crucial problem of abundant aquatic terrain in the face of scarcity of land, which poses a serious challenge of coastal zone degradation in the pursuit of urban spatial growth in the area. The Douala coastal lagoon complex continues to extend over the depositional environment of the Cameroon southern lowlands with the dynamic estuarine system of the River Wouri which ensures sediment supply into the lagoon. This is responsible for the fast silting up process evolving the shoaling lagoon character and of course the proliferation of mangroves and wetland forests. The spatial growth of the Douala metropolis necessitating the bridge over the lagoon system in order to link the metropolis to the Bonasama and Bonaberi districts led to the effective demarcation of the lagoon system into two: north and west of the city. To the north of the metropolis, the lagoon system is characterized by clusters of mangrove and wetland forests, the other to the west where the Douala port complex is located cover a larger area depicting a shoaling lagoon which has necessitated massive sand dredging to keep the harbour facilities operational.

The entire Central African sub-region today is influenced by the Douala coastal space. The Douala harbour directly serves the landlocked countries of Chad and the Republic of Central Africa, while countries, such as Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, continue to use the marine and coastal space for socioeconomic activities, such as fishing, transportation, etc. The economic status of the Douala metropolitan area has further influenced its administrative status to the highest level of the presidency of the Republic of Cameroon. This is because Douala as the financial and investment base of the country and serves as headquarters to a number of government establishments like the Department of Customs and the only Stock Exchange in the country, the Douala Stock Exchange, amongst others. The ecological approach to planning and management of the Douala area has witnessed conflicts with economic issues, with the political authority leaning on the side of economic consideration over the detriment of environmental issues. The office of the Government Delegate at the helm of decision taking concerning the Douala marine and coastal space is this political authority, which of course subjects itself to the administrative bureaucracy of the central government entailed in developmental processes in sub-Saharan Africa. As environmental deterioration is a slow and gradual process of degradation, the cumulative effects towards the attainment of the state of disaster appear unnoticed and are extremely difficult to reverse.

Chapter - 2

2 Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

2.1 Literature Review

A literature review[14] of a subject matter is a “critical analysis of a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, review of literature, and theoretical articles” concerning that subject matter. A literature review is more than just a gloss of pre-existing information, and goes way beyond being a descriptive, annotated bibliography. All previous findings included in a literature review must be read, evaluated, and analyzed thoroughly in such a work. Moreover, the relationship of the literature to the field of research in question must also be identified and articulated. In the present work, a brief discussion of the history and origin of some of the key words and their definitions as they relate to this research are conducted prior to the initiation of the actual research problem.

2.1.1 History and Definition of Keywords Roots of Urban Sprawl.

According to Wassmer (2002), the term, “urban sprawl”, was first used in 1937 by Earle Draper of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), USA, in a national conference of planners. At this conference, Earle Draper considered urban sprawl to be both an unaesthetic and uneconomic manner of settlement. The first time urban sprawl was used in an opening paragraph of an article was by the sociologist, William Whyte, in Fortune magazine in 1958 (Wassmer, 2002). The Real Estate Research Corporation inaugurated in 1974 in USA, presented a contentious debate on positive and negative effects of sprawl (Real Estate Research Corporation, 1974). Small (2000) argues that the public and policymakers often use the term as a medical analogy where urban sprawl is seen as a disease with undesirable symptoms. Many cures are offered for this disease, but there is no solid understanding of the underlying causes and mechanisms.

Today, urban sprawl, though not a new phenomenon, continues to be a serious challenge to most governments around the world and more specifically to lesser developed nations as well as countries witnessing rapid economic growth. Definition of Urban Sprawl

The term "urban sprawl" is difficult to define precisely due to the amount of ambiguity, misunderstanding, and confusion associated with the term in different fields of studies. According to Audirac et al. (1990), the term urban sprawl is so abused that it lacks a precise meaning and defining "sprawl" has become a methodological quagmire. Gunther et al. (2006) advanced six reasons (given below) to substantiate while urban sprawl is so difficult to define.

Causes, characteristics, and consequences of sprawl are ill-defined;

It is hard to distinguish sprawl from related terms, such as suburbanization, urban growth, or suburban development;

The term is used in a scientific context as well as in public and political discussions. Also, it is used by various scientific disciplines in different manners and from different perspectives;

The term is so broad, that it leaves plenty of room for interpretations/ misinterpretations;

There is no agreed upon way of measuring sprawl, due partly to the lack of a generally accepted definition in the first place, creating a vicious ideological circle;

The term is used for characterizing a situation as well as a process, which invites further confusion.

Galster et al. (2001) make a classification of the different forms of physical settlements that are connected to what can be termed urban sprawl (Figure 5). This classification of sprawl depicts eight components: density, continuity, concentration, clustering, centrality, nuclearity, land use mix, and proximity. These components can all be detected in a clear demonstration of the patterns of urban sprawl. Galster et al. (2001) point out that at a more compact end of the city, of suburban[15] growth can be seen as sprawl. Scattered, or "leapfrog", development is another piece of terminology that helps elucidate sprawl (Harvey and Clark, 1965). This “leapfrog form” is characterized by a discontinuous urban development from the central core of an urban area, with the intervening areas interspersed with vacant land. Other forms that are classified as sprawl include compact growth around a number of smaller centers (polynucleated development), and linear urban forms, such as strip development, along major transport routes (Besussi et al., 2005)


[1] Political resources are resources used in political decision-making, or for all areas of social-life that are make claims toward a legislative/decision-making body. 23/01/2013)

[2] Institut National de la Statistique Cameroun 2010 population

[3] (Accessed: 24/12/2012)

[4] An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well. ( Accessed: 2013/03/07)

[5] The exceptionally high and low tides that occur at the time of the new moon or the full moon when the sun, moon, and earth are approximately aligned or a great flood or rush, as of emotion.

[6] A gigantic wave caused by the force of the moon and sun

[7] (Accessed: 2013/03/20)

[8] (Accessed: 2013/03/20)

[9] (Accessed: 2013/03/07)

[10] (Accessed: 17/01/2013)

[11] (Accessed: 30/02/2013)

[12] According to the ILO, the unemployed population is made up of people who are available to, but did not, supply labour for the production of goods and services. They would have accepted a suitable job or started an enterprise during the reference period if the opportunity arose, and had actively looked for ways to obtain a job or start an enterprise in the near past.

[13] (Accessed: 16/01/2013).

[14] (Accessed: 2012/12/12)

[15] Suburban growth is defined as the contiguous expansion of existing development from a central core.

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The Socioeconomic and Environmental Implications of Urban Sprawl on the Coastline of Douala-Cameroon. Options for Integrated Coastal Management
Xiamen University  (Coastal and Ocean Management Institute)
Marine Affairs
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socioeconomic, environmental, implications, urban, sprawl, coastline, douala-cameroon, options, integrated, coastal, management
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Suinyuy Derrick Ngoran (Author)Prof. Xue XiongZhi (Author), 2013, The Socioeconomic and Environmental Implications of Urban Sprawl on the Coastline of Douala-Cameroon. Options for Integrated Coastal Management, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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