Bechati inhabitants struggle to remove tree branches from fallen building
By Hope Nda
Forsung Jephthah Teba, his wife, Oliver, and their three children are among the worst hit families in Bechati, a village in Lebialem Division, in Cameroon’s Southwest region, after a violent wind destroyed about 10 houses as it swept through the community on Monday, March 14.
The wind collapsed a tree on their three-bedroom home where their children were sleeping, and injured the eldest of the children.
Jephthah told AC the children’s survival was miraculous; the tree smashed the entire house down, burying the children under its mighty branches and fallen block. He and his wife were not at home at the time of the disaster.
“The house is completely down and there is even nowhere to stay now. My wife and I were not even at home when it happened and it is thanks to the neighbours that the children were rescued and taken to the hospital,” he said.
The eldest child, Forsung Prizo Tayi, was injured and taken to a local health centre for treatment. At press time, Forsung Jephthah said the child was recovering positively and the family had relocated into a one-room house offered by a neighbour.
“The wind was so powerful that we thought many people will be killed, but thank God nobody died. It destroyed many houses and one of those worst affected is Forsung Jepthah. A tree completely destroyed his house. He took many years to build this house,” said Kendo Adamou, a native of Bechati.
Jephthah and his family will not be the same again; they lost years of hardwork in a single day.
Their case was more serious because of the fallen tree. Other houses that were destroyed only saw their roofs removed by the wind, said Daniel Ketuyong, a teacher and community worker in Bechati.
He told AC they were helping to remove the fallen tree and cut down other trees that were too close to houses, while seeking for assistance for the victims from the elites of the village and from the Wabane Council.
The wind came at a time when inhabitants of Bechati village are still struggling with the ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, which has hampered education, economic and political life in the community.