Original Research

Governance of disaster risk reduction in Cameroon: The need to empower local government

Henry N. Bang
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 5, No 2 | a77 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v5i2.77 | © 2013 Henry N. Bang | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 January 2013 | Published: 25 February 2013

About the author(s)

Henry N. Bang, African Centre for Disaster Studies, Potchefstroom, South Africa and the School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom


The impact of natural hazards and/or disasters in Cameroon continues to hit local communities hardest, but local government lacks the ability to manage disaster risks adequately. This is partly due to the fact that the necessity to mainstream disaster risk reduction into local governance and development practices is not yet an underlying principle of Cameroon’s disaster management framework. Using empirical and secondary data, this paper analyses the governance of disaster risks in Cameroon with particular focus on the challenges local government faces in implementing disaster risk reduction strategies. The hypothesis is that the governance of disaster risks is too centralised at the national level, with huge implications for the effective governance of disaster risks at the local level. Although Cameroon has reinvigorated efforts to address growing disaster risks in a proactive way, it is argued that the practical actions are more reactive than proactive in nature. The overall aim is to explore the challenges and opportunities that local government has in the governance of disaster risks. Based on the findings from this research, policy recommendations are suggested on ways to mainstream disaster risk reduction strategies into local governance, and advance understanding and practice in the local governance of disaster risks in the country.


disaster risk reduction; governance; local government; Cameroon; disaster management framework


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