The Dynamism between Urbanization, Coastal Water Resources and Human Health: A Case Study of Douala, Cameroon

Suinyuy Derrick Ngoran, Xiongzhi Xue, Bongajum Simplice Ngoran


Current statistics show that more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas (Lederbogen et al., 2011) with approximately 50 percent living within 200 km of the coast (Alcala & Russ, 2006). Nowadays, the increasing proportion of people in “coastal-urban” areas is undoubtedly an eminent challenge not just in specific countries but to the world at large (Le et al., 2013). Therefore, profound studies are needed in order to understand the dynamics within the “coastal-urban” space such that resources are deployed in a sustainable manner. This work, based on administrative consultations and field reconnaissance, therefore, portrays the changing dynamics between urbanization, coastal water resources and their related impacts on human health. It posits that, the fast degradation of the Douala coastal water resources due to urbanization, attest the gaps in current urban-public policies. Moreover, the degradation of the biophysical milieu has shouldered with waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery etc. As such, for a sustainable coastal environment to be attained, timely endeavours encompassing all stakeholders are needed to clearly circumscribe the challenges, and address them with state-of-the-art policies.

Keywords: Urbanization, Coastal water resources, Human health, Douala, Cameroon

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