By Victorine Biy Nfor
Mbouda/Bangangte – The Minister of Public Works met contractors and control mission heads in the West Region on March 15, 2016.
The Eser Contracting and Industry Company in charge of Phase 1 of the project to disenclave the breadbaskets of Menoua, Noun and Nde Divisions of the West Region has been challenged to speed up procedures for the imminent start of construction of farm-to-market roads. The same directive was also given to Razel Cameroun in charge of Phase 2 of the project intended to tar other feeder roads in the same divisions.
The Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, flanked by his Secretary of State, Louis Max Ayina Ohandja and West Governor, Awa Fonka Augustine, was on an assessment mission to the project sites on March 15, 2016. The Minister and his team braved bumpy and dusty earth roads from Bangangte to the hinterlands where Razel has set up its construction base for nitty gritties of work on the 107-km Galim-Bamendjing-Foumbot-Bangangte Highway.
Minister Nganou Djoumessi expressed joy at measures taken by the contractor for construction to begin soon. Phase 1 of the FCFA 61.8 billion project concerning studies is now 100 per cent complete. Some heavy duty equipment was seen at the project site, although significant earthwork is yet to commence. Work on the project (studies) started on July 7, 2015 and the road is supposed to be tarred by January 7, 2019.
The second stopover was in the Batousi neighbourhood of Mbouda where Eser Contracting and Industry Company has set up its station for the imminent start of construction work on the Baleveng-Bangang-Batcham-Mbouda-Galim, Mbouda-Bamesso-Galim, Balessing-Batcham as well as the Mbouda-Ngouaya-Bati roads covering 110 km. The project is expected to gulp FCFA 57.6 billion of the Ministry of Public Investment’s Budget. The Ecta Btp Control Mission Head recommended the immediate start of construction. It was however revealed that the six months for studies had elapsed and this could affect the project calendar.
The contractor stated that equipment for the setting up of a rock quarry was already being cleared from the Douala Seaport. Cetin Orhan, the Regional Director of Eser, as well as Server Birgoren, the Project Director, reiterated their commitment to speed up procedures. They however deplored the non-approval of some studies by the control mission. The control mission proposed a possible modification of some portions with the introduction of a flyover. The Minister however urged them to keep to the project cost, stating that the contractual terms must be respected.
Bad Feeder Roads
The plight of subsistence farmers in Menoua, Noun and Nde Divisions is deplorable. Listening to local women raised nothing but goose pimples in whoever gave them a keen ear. They spend as much at FCFA 50,000 to tranport a tonne of maize on a distance of 15 km, with motorbike riders demanding 3,000 FCFA per sack. “Farm produce in areas like Bamesso and Bagame rot in the fields due to poor farm-to-market roads, setting in famine and poverty,” lamented Nzoyem Elvish, a farmer.
She explained that average income families now build huts for storing harvest in the rainy season to be transported to homes and markets in the dry season. In the rainy season, farmers said getting their produce to the markets is far from easy, stressed Sidonie Mande and Yemeli Melanie. They all deplored the state of farm-to-market roads in the breadbasket zone.
Source: All Africa