By Eric Tataw– Washington DC, USA, Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
A source at a Twin propeller passenger aeroplane in Cameroon’s South West Region belonging to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), a United Nations agency that provides common air services for the humanitarian community to very remote and very challenging locations has hinted National Telegraph on its next destination.
A source said the aeroplane managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), offers safe, reliable, cost-efficient and effective passenger and light cargo transport for the wider humanitarian community to and from areas of crisis and intervention.
Early Wednesday, November 27, 2019, pictures of the 12-seater aeroplane circulated on social media with many saying it was a UN plane just landing in Tiko, a town in Cameroon’s restive South West.
Our source confirmed it was indeed in Tiko but didn’t specify what date was it when the pictures were taken. The source also dismissed as hoax news that it was a UN mission plane just landing in Tiko.
The aeroplane has been using the Tiko airstrip since October and has made a number of trips to Bamenda, capital city of Cameroon’s embattled North West Region and back to Tiko.
There are two UNHAS aeroplanes in Cameroon. One flying the Bertoua airstrip in the East and the other between the South West and North West Regions to provide humanitarian assistance to these crisis-hit regions and occasionally, it goes to Yaounde.
Our source said the next destination for the South West/North West crew will be Mamfe in the Manyu Division, South West. No specific date has been given but our source stated Mamfe is undoubtedly the next landing place.
The UN vehicles circulating social media are regular UN intervention vehicles used by tasked UN agencies based in the country’s South West capital city of Buea since 2018.
UNHAS responds to the need for access to the world’s most remote and challenging locations, often under precarious security conditions, where no safe surface transport or viable commercial aviation options are available.
The UN first set foot on Buea, in May 2018, with a staff, who worked from a hotel, basically carrying out surveys. In September, the first UN team arrived Buea and planted an office at Tuborg Junction.
Almost immediately, the UN team relocated to Douala until after the October 2018 Presidential elections when they effectively began operations activities from October 16, 2018.
Three other UN agencies for humanitarian response are stationed in Buea; the UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees), and the UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).