Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 390

Full Length Research Paper

Urban housing improvement and conflict prevention framework for Cameroonian cities: Lessons from Kumba

Jude Ndzifon KIMENGSI*
  • Jude Ndzifon KIMENGSI*
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Catholic University of Cameroon Bamenda (CATUC), P.O. Box 782, Bamenda, Cameroon.
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NDI Humphrey Ngala
  • NDI Humphrey Ngala
  • Department of Geography, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon.
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Solange G. Akhere
  • Solange G. Akhere
  • Department of Sociology and Human Geography University of Oslo, Norway.
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  •  Received: 19 May 2015
  •  Accepted: 16 June 2015
  •  Published: 31 July 2015


The rapidly growing population of Kumba, like other Cameroonian cities, suffers from the problem of poor and inadequate housing conditions which manifest through anarchical construction – a potential source of future conflicts. This study employs the interviews of 60 directly affected inhabitants and three focus group discussion which was complemented by secondary sources. The information obtained was subjected to content analysis in order to guide the development of the urban housing framework. The results indicate that driving forces of housing conflicts in Kumba include population increase, inaequate shelter, difficulty in obtaining builsing permits, poor urban planning, non respect of building codes, poverty and high rents. These factors manifest through self-generative conflicts which emanate from frustration, anarchical sprawling of settlements, demolition and confrontations, selective demolition and the absence of relocation facilities. Synergy among urban development stakeholders (local population, council authorities, delegation of Urban Development and Housing, landlords and FEICOM) represents a logical way forward in the institution of suggested interventions  for housing improvement and conflict prevention.

Key words: Housing conditions, conflict prevention, urban governance.