Although Cameroon has no formal air monitoring stations to determine its exact extent, air pollution is clearly a significant problem. Air pollution is especially prevalent in cities, where it results from automobile exhaust, cooking with wood or charcoal, and burning of solid waste (Fombad, 1997a). Another source of air pollution is dust generated by dirt roads. The majority of urban road networks and roads linking rural and urban areas are unpaved, which generates much dust stirred up by moving vehicles and wind during the dry season.
In rapidly urbanizing coastal regions, fragmented government jurisdictions and poor planning have resulted in construction in low-lying areas or on steep hillsides in areas subject to heavy rainfall and tropical storms. Low-lying areas are subject to frequent flooding exacerbated by inadequate storm water systems and subsidence, while poorly constructed housing on the hillsides frequently falls victim to landslides. Extensive development of low-lying areas for urban use also results in disruption of normal water flows and loss of wetlands and mangrove swamps; the mangroves also fall victim to wood harvesting for cooking (National Capacity Self-Assessment Global Support Programme, 2006; Kometa, 2009; Asangwe, 2010). Where industrialization has occurred, especially in the Douala metropolitan area, oil spills and discharges of industrial effluents into sensitive wetlands, lagoons, and waterways add to the problems (UNEP, 2009).