Full Length Research Paper
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.
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