By Oben Carl Ayuk in Buea.
Fako Elites in the UK have resolved to sensitize the population about public safety, help reduce road accidents and improve the health situation of people in Buea through a development oriented organization they have named Fako-UK.
They made the pledge on Saturday January 4th 2014 during the first ever meeting of mostly UK based elites and some local indigenes at the legendary Buea Mountain hotel, renovated as Buea awaits the long overdue visit of Mr Paul Biya. 50th anniversary celebrations of the Unification of Cameroon have been put on hold as presidential protocol struggle to set a date for the president to visit, three years after he should have done so.
London based cardiologist Dr Fred Kemah, main convener of the Buea meeting will be the pioneer president of the Buea-UK association while Walla Henry will be its first Chairman. In his presentation, Dr Kemah revealed preparations were underway to open an ultra modern cardiovascular centre that will be called Fako Heart in Buea. The centre will treat heart related issues of people at very affordable rates. Thousands of people die annually across Cameroon because of the absence of trained specialized to treat cardiovascular complications.
Fako Heart will bridge this gap, according to Dr Kemah who will be the clinical expert at the centre. A high profile presidential cardiovascular specialist in the UK, Dr Kemah said he and some foreign based doctors will be proposing guidelines for doctors in Cameroon which will help improve their clinical practices and diagnostic methods. At the request of some local indigenes who attended the forum, it was agreed ambulances will be ferried to Buea from abroad to help evacuate patients to clinics and hospitals when they fall sick. There is an acute shortage of ambulances across Cameroon.
The participants were concerned with the thousands of deadly accidents that were now common across the country and proposed among other things that the government begins testing drivers for alcohol. They proposed that those caught driving above the acceptable limit should be punished including withdrawing their licenses for a specific period as was the case across developed nations. This will significantly help reduce the high number of alcohol related accidents and deaths across Cameroon’s notoriously bad road networks.
The participants also proposed that all drivers get speed awareness lessons before they are issued with licenses. They recommended that all drivers had to be tested for their physical and mental capabilities to ensure hey were fit to drive.
As expected, the forum discussed issues that were particularly annoying to most Cameroonians living abroad including difficulties getting land certificates and obstacles that stopped most from investing in the country. Some of the problems they reported included unscrupulous people who sell their land to more than one buyer and difficulties in identifying meaningful projects and businesses they could invest in. They proposed the creation of a chamber of commerce to handle these issues.
The forum was emceed by journalist Walter Wilson Nana. Other speakers included Evaristus Enongene who gave a paper on Education, Mo Lambe presented a paper on land acquisition/Diaspora issues while Walla Henry presented a paper on development assistance and networking. Fike Monono president of Fako America from the USA gave a brief paper on the upcoming all Fako conference. Clement Ndikum Fon, Secretary General at the governor’s office represented his boss, while Comfort Ojongnkpot, one of the four deputy mayors represented the Buea council. Prof Samson Abagma, registrar of the university of Buea and Mrs Franscisca Biaka were some of the other notable personalities that attended the forum. Some Fako elites from the USA also attended the forum. Invited senator Mbella Moki Charles was conspicuously absent at the forum.
A participant at the forum old Iroko Heritage Magazine “it was time to recapture the missing soul of Buea, one of the most vibrant towns in Buea.
Dr Kemah promised the forum will be meeting regularly to play their part in developing Cameroon’s oldest political capital and home of the Chariots of the gods.