Infrastructure Dev’t: Preserving Achievements

There are shouts of joy and motions of thanks forwarded to the Head of State, President Paul Biya in many parts of Cameroon because of either the construction or rehabilitation of roads that from every indication act as catalysts of local development. 
In the North West Region, the rehabilitation process of the long-awaited Bamenda-Babadjou road is being accelerated to the delight of the population. Still in the North West Region, the construction of the 88 km section of the Bamenda Ring Road from Kumbo to Misaje has started. Road construction projects are ongoing in different localities of the Centre, West and South Regions. The Minister of Public Works is constantly on the field to ensure that the quality of work meets the set standards, as well as the deadlines. Still in the road sector, the cities of Douala, Garoua, Limbe, Bafoussam and Yaounde that hosted the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2020 from January 16- February 7, 2021 benefitted from the construction and rehabilitation of the roads, in addition to restoration and health infrastructure.
Government and its partners spend billions of FCFA every year to build infrastructure in diverse domains to provide basic services intended to ensure the welfare and development of the population. The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Celestine Ketcha Courtes accompanied by the French Ambassador to Cameroon and other senior French officials during a recent visit to Bamenda announced that FCFA 30 billion will be injected from the C2D funding scheme to rehabilitate  urban roads in the city of Bamenda.  Government either gets financing for infrastructure projects from the Public Investment Budget, assistance from financial and technical partners as well as loans. With the ambitions, government in many cases gets highly indebted as it steps up efforts to provide health, road, lodging, locomotion, and educational infrastructure to the population. Heavy equipment are furnished to technical ministries, and also public and semi-public enterprises in order to enable them attain their objectives. Private investors also spend much resources on infrastructure and are ready to keep on with the expected results being high productivity and benefits.
Investing in infrastructure is one thing and making the investments sustainable is another. The sustainability of infrastructure and the subsequent achievements highly depend on the culture of maintenance and preservation of achievements. From studies and observations, a majority of Cameroonians are still to imbibe and practise the culture of preserving achievements. There is an acute lack of patriotism. People handle public property and utilities with much carelessness and do not care if their actions will end in destruction.
The case that requires a complete U-turn in the attitude to and handling of public infrastructure is the security crisis-stricken North West and South West Region. The crisis has led to intolerable destruction of public and private infrastructure in domains such as education, health, roads and homes and cultural artifacts. Finances that ought to serve for getting additional projects are being used for rehabilitation and reconstruction. When the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West Regions was put in place in 2020, it was revealed that the cost of its implementation was estimated at FCFA 89, 682, 938 100.  The Presidential Plan has priority areas that are to: restore social cohesion, reconstruct and rehabilitate basic infrastructure, revitalize local economy. The lesson learned from the crisis is the fact that irrespective of our political and ideological differences, the infrastructure already in place has to be jealously preserved. The evolution of human society cannot be successful in case achievements are not consolidated.
The culture of preserving achievements should become a national cause, if not, we will always be beginning everything afresh. It has to start from our various home...



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