Most cities in the country offer little or no amusement spots for children.
It is that time of the year when children have all the time to themselves. Time to play games and have fun in whatever manner they deem fit. But the question many parents are asking themselves now is where they will take these kids for such a recreational time given that there are little or no leisure sites in big cities like Yaounde.
Cece, Dylan, John, Mariam, Loic, and Ekema are on holidays. It is just three weeks into the holidays and grandma is already wondering how to distract them. This is a difficult issue to handle for Mama Mary who seems to find nowhere her grand children can enjoy some leisure moments with other friends. When she thinks about cinema halls, most of them are closed. Talking about recreational centres, the town of Yaounde just like Buea in the South West Region have few with some of them in dying need of repairs.
There is no room for negotiation in various homes right now. The kids are on holidays and it is also time for recreation for them. It is their right to play which according to paediatricians is optimal for their development. Even the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognises the right for every child to play. But the bone of contention now is the limited facilities available for children to relax especially now that they are on holidays with much time available to play.
Most of the public facilities that use to exist for such recreational moments in Yaounde have dwindled into oblivion and the situation seems to get worst as days go by. Before now, the city of Yaounde could count close to ten cinema halls situated in different neighbourhoods.
Amongst which were Abbia, Capitole, Les Portiques, Le Mfoundi, Le Rex and Le Fébé. Today, these cinema halls no longer exist. Some of their premises have been transformed to commercial centres, church halls, living rooms or even abandoned in some cases.
Playgrounds such as that at the Yaounde Conference Centre, popularly known as “merry-go-rounds” no longer exist. Although few merry-go-rounds exist in private sites in the town of Yaounde, getting to them and being attended to is often not easy, given the regular traffic jams in the city and the huge number of kids always waiting for their turn to enjoy themselves.
As a result of the lack of children’s leisure places in Yaounde, some parents have chosen to get their kids engaged in other activities like sports, music and dance. Whatever way parents wish to get their children relax, authorities concern need to take the necessary measures to create more equipped recreational sites in different cities in the country.