5 February 2018

Cameroon: West Region - Road Project Brings Hope to Farmers

The Minister of Public Works says measures have been taken to ensure enclave agricultural basins in the region are opened up by June 2019.

"I don't want farmers to continue having difficulties when transporting produce from their farms to markets simply because your company has internal problems. I am giving you 21 days to resolve your issues and get to work.

This work must be completed within the allocated timeframe," the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi told officials of ESER construction company during an evaluation meeting he chaired in the living quarters of the enterprise in Menoua Division on February 1, 2018.

Esser Contracting and Industry Inc. Co is a Turkish company in charge of the building of Lot 1 of a 217Km road that will open up to the rest of the country and the central African region, the enclave agricultural basin of the West region. The road stretches from Baleveng, Batcham, Mbouda, Galim, Foumbot to Bangangte.

The Turkish company was awarded a contract to construct 110km of the road. Its portion stretches from Baleveng to Bati. So far the company has executed only 17.94% of the project whereas it has already consumed 52% of its timeframe.

Minister Nganou Djoumessi's blunt remarks to the company officials came after the Governor of the West region, Augustine Awa Fonka, revealed that the company's employees down tools on a regular basis, either requesting for unpaid salaries or better working conditions, consequently slowing down progress on the road project. The company is expected to complete its section worth circa FCFA 57 billion by June 2019.

The second stretch of the road (lot 2) stretches across Bangangte through Foumbot to Galim. It is being constructed by French company, Razel. The Minister, after visiting company's quarry, temporal base, and evaluating the road covered, noted with satisfaction that the company is on a good footing. He urged officials of the company to reach out to Eser and share experiences so that both portions of the road would be completed within deadline. Razel's share of the road is 107km, worth a little over FCFA 61 billon.

The execution rate of the road stood at 28.15% as of January 29, 2018 while construction timeframe consumption stood at 57.87%. The Minister and his team were reassured the road will be completed by the June 6 deadline. The road which interconnects four divisions of the West region (Nde, Noun, Bamboutous and Menoua) to national roads brings relief to citizens, particularly farmers in the entire region, going by the Mayor of Foumbot, Bernard Damste.

"This road that will undoubtedly improve our people's standard of living has brought hope to farmers in the region. This agricultural basin feeds the entire nation. It is rich in the production of tomatoes plantain, cocoyam, maize, pears, palms, bananas and many other agricultural products. Farmers have had enormous difficulties bringing the products to markets in other communities and regions," Mayor Damste told Cameroon Tribune.

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