University of Buea – Buea, Cameroon

Unit or Programme:
Centre for Hazard Monitoring and Disaster Management (CEDIM)


Seismo-volcanic risks, hydro-meteorological risks, and water and food security risks

Unit Director:
Prof Samuel Ayonghe
Contact details
(+237) 677738438; (+237) 679701138
The University of Buea (UBuea) was established in 1993 and is one of only two English-speaking universities in Cameroon. The student population is approximately 12,000, with 300 permanent and 200 part-time teaching staff. The University is actually situated on the slopes of Mount Cameroon, an active volcano, and Disaster risk as a field of research at UBuea commenced as a result of the publication of results on landslides at Bafaka in 1998. Academic modules of natural disasters and risk reduction are taught in the departments of Environmental Science, Geology and Geography at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Centre for Hazard Monitoring and Disaster Management (CEDIM) which is headed by Professor Samuel Ayonghe, the Dean of Science at UBuea. buea
Over the years Cameroon has experienced several severe hazardous events; Cameroon experiences some of the greatest volcanic and seismic activity on the continent, with Mount Cameroon erupting on average every 16 years. A consequence of these activities has been numerous landslides which cause major destruction and disruption and often death. In 2001, there were landslides at Limbe which killed 23 people and were equally managed and monitored by this author. In 2003 more landslides occurred in Wabane and again were managed and monitored by this author and his team. Several publications and theses (MSc and PhD) evolved from these studies. Other areas of research (for publications and for students’ theses) have been on the asphyxiating CO2 gases from crater lakes, on floods, and on micro-seismicity (earthquakes) associated with the constant movement of magma within this active volcano which precede and accompany its eruptions.
086085 Cameroon has also been severely afflicted by recurrent cholera epidemics, such as in 2004, about 8,000 cases were reported in Littoral and West Regions of the country and again in 2010, about 10,000 cases were reported within the Far Northern Region killing 650 people. Several sporadic epidemics of the disease occur each year in various localities within the country with associated deaths and the trend is actually increasing coupled with the impacts of climate change on the environment in general.

Consequently UBuea has overseen and participated in several areas of research from journal articles, government reports and student theses on landslides, volcanic eruptions, asphyxiating explosive crater lakes of Cameroon, hydrogeology, and the impacts of climate change on water and food security.

As of 2016, UBuea has become the 12th member of the Periperi U consortium. Joining the partnership will offer the opportunity for disaster risk related issues, publications and research from Cameroon and the central African region to be promoted and given greater attention both continentally and globally. As well as open opportunities for investment and support for disaster risk related capacity building, academic development and enhancing research through USAID’s financial support of the consortium.

Through Periperi U’s support, UBuea aims to establish specialised disaster risk related academic programmes/modules and platforms for short course training.

For any information about UBuea’s current and proposed activities and developments, please contact Professor Ayonghe (as seen above)