Cameroon: Rapid Degradation of Roads in Douala

Some of the newly constructed roads even get bad before they are officially handed over.

Douala has an acute problem of roads and despite efforts made by the government and the City Council, the issue still persists given the rapid degradation which gives the impression of starting all over again every time. A case in point is the newly-constructed road running from Ecole Publique Deido to the university residential area, Ange Raphael.

Though the road was re-tarred less than a year ago, it is already full of fissures and potholes around the stretch passing through Camtel Bepanda. At the level of the bridge near SIC Cacao, a gully has already developed forcing motorists to either use the other side of the road or slow down to meander through the pool of water in the middle of the road.

Some people of good faith have attempted to refill the gully ground, pebbles and stones, yet without remedying the problems as it is washed off immediately rain falls. It is the same sad spectacle on the bumpy road from Bepanda leading towards Bonamoussadi which is equally full of potholes and complete reaping off of tar around the bridge near Garage Multi Services. Another cavity has developed around Tradex near Parcours Vita, whereas the road was just recently constructed.

The rapid degradation of roads causes one to question why at such an alarming rate. Is it due to the quality of work or due to the nature of the soil? It is true the nature of the soil in Douala is not good but a solid road can be constructed even in marshy land, said Aloysius Mbom, a civil engineer. He attributes the rapid depreciation of the newly constructed roads to the poor quality of work executed by contractors questioning why roads such as the one running through the 20th May Avenue built on marshy has not depreciated for decades now. "When a road is constructed, it is supposed to last at least 25 years before any sign of depreciation", said. How comes that roads get bad less than one year after they are constructed, he questioned.

It is worthy to mention that the poor execution of roads work weighs on government coffers as not only does maintenance work begin early, but it also gives an impression of an eternal recommencement, further depleting the scarce resources of the State. Some people suspect complicity with the control missions given that these roads are constructed under the supervision of control missions. The nature of the soil in Douala is also partially responsible as it is sandy and easily sinks around marshy areas urging constructors to opt for pavements in such places which have proved to resist better over time. Whatever be the reason, effort should be made to construct long-lasting roads in the economic capital.

More From: Cameroon Tribune

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