28 August 2013

Cameroon: Water Management of Niger Basin Under Scrutiny

A three-day workshop to seek ways of implementing projects began in Yaounde on Wednesday August 28, 2013.

Stakeholders of the Niger Basin Authority in Cameroon are currently examining development challenges of the sub-region and devising ways through which already outlined projects could be efficiently executed for the sustainability of its natural resources. They are currently being informed and sensitised on sustainable development stakes and prospects as well as on the mastery and management of water of the basin. This is within the framework of a three-day (August 28-30) capacity-building workshop that went underway yesterday piloted by the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT).

According to the Executive Secretary of the Niger Basin Authority, Nigeria's Collins R.U. Ihekire, the major challenges the basin face today are finance and staff shortages. "We have various projects and we need experts in various fields, we also need to update our accounting procedure so that we can work in harmony with everybody," he said. The Yaounde workshop, Mr Ihekire noted, is to build the capacity of the Cameroonian focal structure for efficiency in executing already drafted projects. The projects include a FCFA 15 billion alternative access road and the refurbishment of the dike on the Lagdo hydroelectricity dam, a FCFA 20 billion technical studies and construction of a hydroelectric dam on River Deo, a FCFA 15.5 billion project to develop and put in place agricultural space around the Lagdo dam for the Ladgo and Rey Bouba communities as well as a FCFA 2.5 billion project to support fishermen and aquaculture actors around the Lagdo dam. All these are financed by the World Bank. Meanwhile, the African Development Bank is financing a FCFA 15.9 billion programme to control sand inundation on the Cameroonian side of the basin. Others concern climate change, capacity-building and the management of water resources financed by other partners.

The National Coordinator of the structure, Yepmo Jean Jacques, said the Niger Basin in Cameroon spans through the North, Adamawa and North West Regions and that feasibility studies are on course to hopefully take the projects off the ground by 2015. The Director General of Planning and Territorial Management at MINEPAT, Janvier Oum Eloma, chaired the opening ceremony in the place of the Minister.

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