Cameroon: Compensation, Jobs - PM Dion Ngute Reassures Population

Prime Minister Chief Joseph Dion Ngute on August 7 visited the various sites of the Yaounde Water Supply Project from River Sanaga and had a working session with the population.

The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute has assured people affected by the Yaounde Water Supply Project from River Sanaga (PAEPYS) that compensation and indemnification for the land and other items will all be paid but the payment will be progressive due to limited resources of the State. PM Dion Ngute spoke in Emana Batchenga on August 7, 2019 during a working session with elite, traditional leaders and government officials after visiting the different sites of the giant water supply project on the high instructions of the Head of State, Paul Biya. He said the project is estimated to cost FCFA 500 billion. He acknowledged that the project has not advanced as much as it should have due to lack of civic and patriotic awareness from the local population that do block work claiming the payment of compensation and some sub contractors that have also stopped work for reasons of non- payment. He therefore, used the occasion to plead on the affected population to show a sense of patriotism by not blocking work. "I just want to reassure them that everybody wants to be paid compensation or to be indemnified because of their land as far as this project is concerned. We are doing it systematically. We cannot pay everybody at the same time because we have limited resources" but assure them that all compensation will be paid. Payment of compensation had already started in Subdivisions such as Obala and Batchenga. The Head of Government told the people that, "The President of the Republic, Paul Biya asked me to come around and see how the project is advancing. This is one of the most important projects Cameroon is carrying out. It is a project that is going to furnish Yaounde and localities around it with pipe-borne potable water to satisfaction till at least 2040." Because of that, he said, it deserves the attention of all Cameroonians, especially those who are affected by this project.

Jobs, Associated Projects The Minister of Water Resources and Energy, Gaston Eloundou Essomba assisted the Prime Minister in answering questions during the working session. Concerning jobs created by the project, he said, there were already over 200 jobs mostly occupied by the inhabitants of the affected areas. With regard to the award of contracts to local companies, he encouraged the construction company, China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMAC) to award sub contracts to local companies, stating that it had already started with the supply of local materials and some civil engineering works. Though the project was essentially to supply water, the Prime Minister said, the localities through which the project passes will benefit from associated projects such as the construction of classrooms that have already started and roads, among others. Corroborating the Prime Minister, Gaston Eloundou Essomba said studies have been launched for the second phase of the project during whose execution water will be extended to other areas. For reasons of transparency and efficiency, the Prime Minister said he would suggest to the Head of State that an audit be done to ensure that all what the project was designed for is achieved. The water supply project that is programmed to last for three years, is said to have recorded an execution rate of 50.2 per cent at moment. From the water catchment and pumping station of untreated water from River Sanaga at Nachtigal, through all the purification and transportation stages, the water project is expected to inject 300,000 cubic metres of water per day and extended to 400,000 cubic metres. The Prime Minister expressed the hope that should everything work well, the project will be completed by the end of 2020.

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