Building and Endangering Urban Landscapes: the Case of Construction Wastes in Bamenda Cameroon

Lawrence F. Fombe, Melvis D. Ntani


Building and construction is an ongoing process in urban landscapes given the available technology, obsolescence in buildings and the need to improve on the urban scenery. This activity is however accompanied by the generation of huge amounts of degradable and non-degradable wastes which if not well managed can constitute an eyesore and a potent danger to the urban population. Construction waste can also be of immense economic benefits to the population and the construction industry because it can be salvaged, recycled and reused. A random sampling of wastes generated at selected construction sites for ten neighbourhoods (two within the Central Business District (CBD) and eight at the periphery) in Bamenda town indicate that construction waste represents large amounts of material such as zinc, wood, iron rods, broken tiles, sand and plastic which is often illegally dumped by roadsides, river banks and building sites. Poor waste disposal/handling methods cause health and environmental problems such as flooding, and pollution in the municipality. While, such waste generate income and provide cheap equipment/material to the population and construction industry through informal recycling and reuse for other purposes, there is need for improved management as part of a growing movement toward sustainable city development due to increasing population and urbanization.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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