Adressing: Douala Embarks on Modern System

Every street, building or office will henceforth have a specific number for easy identification.

The Douala city council has embarked on a project to identify streets and houses within the metropolis by attributing a specific number to each street and building. The project sponsored by the European Union and the association of francophone mayors is geared at easing movement within the city through the use of the Global positioning system, GPS and identify houses, services and streets in the economic capital.

According to the Government Delegate to the Douala City Council, Fritz Ntone Ntone, the attribution of addresses to buildings and streets will facilitate the distribution of mails, ameliorate the intervention of emergency services like ambulances and fire fighters as well as improve on the collection of taxes as the location of every business or service will be specified. The project will also enhance the provision of social amenities like water and electricity. According to the head of department for information addressing and land tenure, Christine Moudiki, the project for now is limited only to well planned quarters and streets in the Douala I, II and IV sub divisions but will be extended to Douala II and V with time since it is a continuous project. She disclosed that the logic used in attributing the addresses consist of attributing numbers be ginning with the number of the subdivision, followed by the number of the street and then the number of the house depending on the distance of the house from the entry of the street.  The addresses of streets are written on a plate with a green background while those of houses are on a blue background. Houses to the right bear an even number while those to the left bear and odd number. Footpaths will also be given codes. The attribution of these addresses depends on a system of geographic information collected aerial views, plans and enquiries. For now the public addressing system does not entail renaming streets and junctions with indecent names as this will be done by a separate commission but the names will eventually be included when the name change is done. The project was initiated in 1992 but was suspended because of economic hardship but was resuscitated in 2013. The city council will be organizing a seminar in the days ahead to sensitise the public on the use of this new address system when soliciting services from the electricity and water supply utility companies.

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