Cameroon Minister Accuses Separatists Of Impeding Road Construction Works

The separatists have been accused of attacking construction workers on different projects in Northwest Cameroon.

The Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, has revealed that 44 per cent of road construction contracts in the Northwest region of Cameroon have been abandoned by contractors because of insecurity due to the Anglophone separatist crisis. 

Djoumessi who was answering questions from Members of Parliament during a recent parliamentary session, cited the case of the Babadjou-Bamenda road which links the Western region to the Northwest region, which was contracted to Sogea-Satom in 2017 but the construction company was forced to suspend work on the project in Sept. 2017 because its road construction equipment that was being used to execute the project was burnt down by separatists.

After some calm returned, work on the project resumed but was again disrupted leading to another suspension of work on Jan. 14, 2020 after a deadly attack a week earlier by separatists.

Since Oct. 6, 2021, the government has launched another tender for the recruitment of a new contractor to execute the contract on the Babadjou-Bamenda road.

According to the Minister, these disruptions on road contract works in the Anglophone region of Northwest have been going on whereas government has mobilised 179.1 billion FCFA (about $358 million) within the last five years for the realisation of road projects in the said region which has a road network of about 10,504 km.

Statistics given by the Ministry of Public Works indicate that this road network consists of 495 kilometres of roads linked to national roads, 793 kilometres of regional roads and 9,215 kilometres of communal roads. 

A total of 48.2 per cent of the sections of the national roads are tarred as against 9.3 per cent of regional roads and 13.1 per cent of communal roads.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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