“Is this your dump?”: Manipulation of Urban Household Waste and Control over Collective Spaces in Garoua, Cameroon

By Émilie Guitard, John Angell


Between 1980 and 2008, the proliferation of informal dumps containing solid domestic waste and sewage throughout the Cameroonian city of Garoua fueled a significant rise in the number of confrontations between the city’s residents. Comparative analysis of these conflicts in two neighborhoods reveals a complex relationship between the “place” of waste in communal urban spaces and waste disposal practices, which range from appropriation to abandonment, against a broader backdrop of questions of neighborhood sociability and political crisis.


  • waste management
  • conflicts
  • neighbors
  • public space
  • Cameroon
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