By Ndefru Mélanie, in Bamenda
Simon Emile Mooh, Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam Division has made revelations about the obstacles faced by some workers in Mankon Fondom involved in the implementation of the ongoing road project in the Fondom.
He told councillors about the pockets of resistance faced in the Mankon Fondom in Bamenda II, accepting the road project, which is contrary to the situation in Bamenda I and III.
According to SDO, the Bamenda City council is facing a huge challenge when it concerns the development of the City.
“The BCC is faced with two main challenges in promoting development in the city; the sanitary crisis and meeting the aspirations of the people in the implementation of the urban road project in the City. The Mankon population is still hesitating, a Fondom known nationwide needs it’s roads to be tarred”.
“Work is being disturbed and workers are kidnapped, local engineers tortured by mainly those who are not from the Northwest region. Councillors should tell the population about the importance of the project”, SDO Simon Emile Mooh insisted.
In order to sort a way forward and have the City Council count its achievements, the issue of the roads in Bamenda was a major concern in the 1st ordinary session for 2020 administrative and management accounts of the Bamenda City Council on Wednesday March 31, 2021 in Bamenda.
The administrator said the World Bank was doing all to meet the aspirations of the people, but cannot forge ahead when there is still some resistance in some areas, reason why he reminded councillors of their job; sensitizing people about the need to welcome and allow the project to push through.
The second wave of the health pandemic, is another challenge faced in the Northwest region and which requires follow-up, assistance through MINDEVEL to support councils and providing assistance to schools to guard against the disease.
The City Mayor talked about 2020 achievements being meagre due to the lack of liquidity and indebtedness, coupled with the armed conflict ongoing and the health crisis. He explained that due to these factors couldn’t the City Council could not realise much since it I only a year him and his team took over office.
“In 2020, challenges of ghost towns and other issues related to the dual crisis punctured our activities. We sensitized and educated the population about the need to work together. In Bamenda III ghost town is almost completely buried, in Bamenda I there are no traces of observance of ghost towns, but in Bamenda II there are still pockets of resistance.”
“We will tackle the issue together. In 2020, the challenges of road infrastructure was major; roads were bad and since it was our first year in office, we couldn’t attend to the roads first, but lay the ground works on what to do”, Paul Achobong Tambeng Paul, the Bamenda City Mayor noted.
He mentioned during the session that, planning to him is a very important ingredient/ aspect in realization. He prefers to spend more time in planning.
“The technical services of the city council and the administration spent good time redesigning projects which are now ongoing in town. The contractor was enticed to begin work. The city mayor saluted the SDO’s efforts who regularly walked through the streets of Bamenda with his entire team to ensure that work is done properly.”
The city mayor also praised the population for being collaborative. “Buildings that were standing in the way of the project were marked and demolished. Communiqués were issued and extended but some property owners wouldn’t bulge and made it a huge challenge for the BCC.
The City Mayor says the rains wouldn’t be a problem and work is fully on progress.
“The rains are arround the corner, yes and works are not slow either, over 50 equipment are being used on a daily basis and there is progress. We are at the preliminary stage and we are hopeful that the roads will be passable even with the rains. But when the rains become so serious, work will stop because works cannot be done during heavy downpour.”
The span of the road is meant to be about 16 metres for a two-way carriage road. This according to the administration and the follow-up commission for the project, will be free of future challenges. However, the City Mayor felt that there is a sense of regression.
“After 40 years, we are constructing a road with a span of 16 metres whereas, the Commercial Avenue is 22 metres, a width approved 40 years ago”.
The administrative and management accounts session of the Bamenda City Council, revealed that expenditure for the financial year 2020 stood at FCFA 269,475,000 with FCFA 511 million carried over to the 2021 financial year.