5 February 2018

Cameroon: Dschang-Menji-Bakebe - Additional Measures Required for Accessibility

The Minister of Public Works was on a working visit on the project site, January 31, 2018.

Two companies had failed to execute construction works on the Dschang-Fongo Tongo-Menji-Bakebe road that links the Menoua Division (West region), with Manyu and Lebialem Divisions (South West region).

Transporting persons and goods from Lebialem to the nearby Divisions remained an eyesore for decades, provoking sporadic protests from citizens who felt neglected due to the companies' incapability to execute the project.

To put an end to the hullabaloo and improve on the living standards of citizens in the area, the Ministry of Public Works took emergency measures to have the National Civil Engineering Equipment Pool (MATGENIE) construct the road this year.

Thus transportation problems in the division will soon be history, after completion of the ongoing project that will make the Dschang-Fongo Tongo-Menji-Bakebe road passable both in the rainy and dry seasons.

Work on the road is far advanced, according to the Managing Director of MATGENIE, Désiré Abogo Ntang, who guided the Minister of Public Works and his entourage on a working visit to the project sites on January 31.

Any two vehicles zigzagging up and down the hills and valleys of Wabane, Alou and Fontem Sub-Divisions in Lebialem Division can now bypass each other with ease. Transportation cost from Menji to Dschang has dropped significantly from about FCFA 12, 000 to about FCFA 1500. The distance formerly covered in several hours by motorbike is now covered in about 1h 30 minutes.

It was difficult to pass through the Moon Head (the most difficult hill on the road) during the dry and rainy season, but vehicles are able to ply the road without worrying about the slope any longer.

The Minister of Public Works, in an evaluation meeting held in Fontem (Menji) with MATGENIE engineers, local administrative and traditional authorities after visiting the road to get a first hand feel of the road, said additional measures are required to keep the roads accessible in both the rainy and dry seasons.

He said technicians of the Ministry examining the soil on the road will choose stabilization products suitable for the road. He also noted that though discussions with development partners are underway to tar the road, the technicians need to select products that would give the road a lifespan of about 10 years.

Officials of MATGENIE were however optimistic about completion of the road despite a plethora difficulties emanating from the rocky and mountainous topography of Lebialem Division.


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