Users of the highly-degraded Babadjou (West) – Bamenda (North West) road may soon bid farewell to the nightmares that dread them each time they have to hit the highway. Government has at last acquired the much-needed funds to completely rehabilitate the stretch and logically revive economic activities that are almost at their lowest ebb in the areas ever since the road got to its present sorry state. The World Bank and the government of Cameroon on April 17, 2017 signed a loan agreement worth FCFA 113 billion, part of which will serve to once again smoothen traffic in the grossly degraded 50 km Babadjou-Bamenda axis.
According to a government communique issued by Economy, Planning and Regional Development Minister, Louis Paul Motaze, after signing the agreement, the 192 million US Dollars, (about FCFA 113,086 billion) is for the financing of the Transport Sector Development Project. “This aims to reinforce the planning of the Transport Sector; ameliorate transport efficiency and security on the Babadjou-Bamenda section of the Yaounde - Bamenda corridor; and improve on the security and safety of the Yaounde, Douala, Garoua and Maroua airports,” the communique reads. Targeting the transport sector and notably the selected roads, is to say the least, a good step in the right direction.
Wholly rehabilitating the Babadjou-Bamenda road, for example, will in no small way improve the material and security conditions of transport in the most degradable road section of the regional integration corridor linking Yaounde to the western borders of Cameroon with Nigeria. The trans-national Bamenda-Ekok-Enugu road is already in the best of forms. Sources say the rehabilitation works will comprise the treatment of points identified as prone to accidents and the survey of the works including the upgrading of a 12-km road cutting across the town to link the stretch of the Yaounde-Bamenda corridor and that of the Bamenda-Enugu and support the putting into place of a second-generation road fund. That the money will also be used to reinforce security within the four international airports will not only align them with international standards but as well ensure the comfort and security of both passengers and airline companies. This will be ascertained notably by reconstructing and rehabilitating a fence around the Yaounde, Douala, Garoua and Maroua airports, constructing a Crises Management Centre in each of the international airports of Yaounde, Garoua and Maroua as well as constructing a standard meteorological station in Maroua. A veritable performance-enhancer for the country’s exit and entry points!