The mayor of Tiko in Cameroon last month spoke out against the poor conditions faced by workers of Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), one of the country's biggest employers and largest exporters, of products including bananas, Business In Cameroon reported.
Locals were not benefitting sufficiently from the presence of giant industrial plants, said Moukondo Daniel Ngande during the visit of the governor of the country's Southwest Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai.
Ngande cited the poor state of farm-to-market roads, the sordid living quarters provided by CDC and the lack of sewage disposal systems.
He said that workers' quarters had remained below human standards, resembling open-air prisons, despite the billions these workers had generated for the company over the years.
Ngande also complained of the air pollution emitted by CDC's rubber plant and the airborne spraying of chemicals over banana plantations near inhabited areas, believed by many to be responsible for lung infections suffered by locals.
CDC is a production partner of US multinational Del Monte, which buys and markets bananas from CDC in Europe.