Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

9 January 2013

Cameroon: Buea, Kumba Prepare Reunification Celebration

Infrastructure projects in road construction, lodging facilitie and security are concerned.

Following the Head of State's 2013 New Year message during which he reiterated that the 50th anniversary of Cameroon's reunification will be celebrated in the coming months, preparations are on high gear in the South West Region awaiting the upcoming ceremony.

The expected ground work measures include a number of infrastructural projects covering the domains of lodging, roads, hygiene and even security.

At a most recent meeting to evaluate project execution, South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, went the extra mile to threaten contractors of arrest and detention should they not meet the deadline of 90 days from January 1, 2013. He cautioned the concerned service providers or suppliers who think will not meet the deadline to surrender in time to allow better equipped and more ready contractors to take over the works and ensure timely delivery.

The South West Regional Delegate for Tourism and Leisure, Elangwe Peter Pel, informed Cameroon Tribune that a total of 1,800 rooms of all categories are available in Buea and its surrounding towns of Limbe, Tiko, Muyuka, Mutengene and even further away Kumba (just 75 Km from Buea). Among the facilities, two State hotels are under renovation in Buea namely Mountain Hotel and the Parliamentarian Flats whose Chinese contractors have promised to deliver the work by 31 January. The renovation works entail to step up Mountain Hotel from its initial 50 rooms and 27 chalets to 84 rooms and 37 chalets. The 30-roomed Parliamentarian Flats promises to be finished in February so that fittings and equipment could come in. Mr. Elangwe Pel talked of some FCFA four billion and above as cost of renovation on both hotels.

However, the Governor has not been happy with the pace of work at the Parliamentarian Flats (only 60 percent accomplished). He has had to call and emergency meeting with the Regional Delegate of Tourism and Leisure as well as the contractor to iron out matters. Some 14 privately constructed Ministerial suits are at Upper-Bunduma with the only handicap being the access road for which the Delegate of Tourism and Leisure has requested for that stretch to be included in the reunification projects. Meanwhile the multi-billion reunification hotel project started near the Parliamentarian Flats has been halted pending when the underground mighty rock met in the foundation will be blown up.

A total of 13 road-projects were earmarked for the reunification feast in Buea. Two contractors are on the field namely ARAB Contractors Enterprise for eight stretches and Chariot Company for five. Such road projects include the Mile - 17-Police Round About - Prime Minister's Lodge - Presidency - Bokwaongo (12 Kms), Regional Delegation of National security - Governor's Office - Governor's Residence - Court of Appeal - Bicec Junction - Court Junction - Residence SG Region (2.3 Kms), Tuborck Junction - Military Hospital camp - Razel Street - Main Road (2.1 Kms), Governor's Office Upper Farm Prison (900 Metres), Mile 18 - Malingo Junction (1.3 Kms), Bonduma Gate - Bokwai (1.5 Kms), Campaign Street - Wonyamongo - Buea town (800 Metres), Federal Quarter - Farm - GHS Bokwaongo (950 Metres). The second lot comprises of Government School Small Soppo - End of Tar Great Soppo (2.025km), End of Tar Afosi - Muea (700 Metres), Former Gendamerie Legion - Governor's Office (150 Metres), Wonyamongo - Buea Town (450 Metres), and the clearing of roadside parking space.

The Buea Council has been on its heels over the reunification event from lobbying till field action today. Among the numerous tasks engaged, Lord Mayor Mbella Moki Charles organized early period explanatory meetings with the press to show convictions why Buea deserved to host the event, especially from the historic perspective. Early hygiene and sanitation campaigns were initiated by the Council and roadside makeshift infrastructure were cleared off last year to powder the face of Buea in anticipation of the national anniversary. With the coming of Hysacam to clear Buea of its filth, the Council was also preparing for the event. Today, Buea is sparkling waiting for the announcement of the date of the occasion. More so, an over FCFA 400 Million New Council edifice is standing tall adjacent to the ceremonial ground at Clerks Quarters, which the totality of Buea's elected Councilors visited with amazement last week.

Authorities in Kumba are unanimous to lend a hand to the 50 years of reunification billed for Buea. Not only is Kumba waxing muscles to host some of the guests in their 600 capacity hotels, but equally erect a monumental edifice called Reunification Plaza to mark the event. In addition, the Kumba I Council session last January 7, authorized and encouraged their Mayor, Prince Ekale Mukete, to begin a mammoth project to raise a multi-purpose town structure costing FCFA 950 Million.

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