Infrastructure Development: World Bank Wants Road Projects Hastened

Officials of the institution discussed this with the Minister of Public Works in Yaounde on May 8, 2019.

Elisabeth Huybens, Director of Operations at the World Bank country office in Cameroon has urged government to take necessary measures for road projects to be speed up. She made the call during a meeting with Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Minister of Public Works in Yaounde on May 8, pointing out that it is necessary to accelerate work on the World Bank-funded projects because the rainy season will soon be intense.

The road projects reviewed during the meeting include the 52km Babadjou-Bamenda road, the 62km Maroua-Mora road and the Mora- Dabanga-Kousseri road. The officials of the Bretton Woods institution told Minister Nganou Djoumessi and his staff that they are satisfied with the progress made so far on the Maroua- Mora road but expressed worries that the implementation of the other projects is not going on as planned.

They noted that the Mora-Dabanga-Kousseri road which is being constructed by the Military Engineering corps is the most important in the Far North region and decried its snail-paced progress. Besides the paving of the 205km road, the FCFA 65.687 billion worth project also includes the construction of boreholes, classrooms, markets, community halls, amongst others, for communities through which the road passes.

The Public Works Minister and his team reassured the World Bank officials that measures are on course to remove obstacles slowing down progress on the road, particularly financial and security issues as well as shortage of construction equipment. They agreed to a proposal from the bank that engineers should use cheaper materials on the road and reinforce it phase by phase as funds trickle in progressively in order to shorten the execution period of the project.

As was the case in earlier evaluation meetings, the Minister and the development partner once again reviewed strategies to fast-track work on the Babadjou-Bamenda road. They observed that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is successfully carrying out roadworks in the town of Bamenda while the 12km stretch in the city expected to be done by MINTP is stalled.

Both parties however agreed that until a social investigation to determine acceptability of the project by citizens is completed, work should be halted on the stretch of the road harboured by the North West Region; even if the insecurity situation therein might have subsided enough to make construction works feasible.



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