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Bamenda Risks Isolation From Rest Of Cameroon

several persons risked the water to get to their destination

Bamenda is at risk of isolation as it’s increasingly becoming possible that it may finally be cut off from the rest of the country if nothing is urgently done to salvage the precarious state of the road between Bamenda and Babajou, particularly at the Mile I, a few metres away from the Tradex Filling Station

On Sunday July 16, circulation was interrupted for several hours due to flooding of that portion of the road. Vehicles were forced to lineup on both sides of the road, patiently waiting for the water to reduce. This followed heavy torrential down pour that washed over Bamenda late that afternoon between 2 and 5 pm.

Many vehicles spend minutes on this short stretch that is less than 20 metres long. This portion of the road is made up of huge crater like holes and gullies. Part of the road where the runoff water gathers at this point and empties into down town is gradually making way and eating into the road. Many road users fear as the rainy season intensifies; the road may finally give way to the weight of the running water just like the mile two bridge in 2009.

Access to the Northwest Region from the West Region, was cut off following the collapse on Friday, August 7, of the Mile II Bridge at Up Station, completely cutting of circulation between Bamenda and Bafoussam and the rest of the country. This plunged Bamenda and the entire Northwest into an economy slow down with prices of basic goods including fuel skyrocketing.

curious onlookers lined both sides of the flooded road

Vehicles had to wait for several minutes for the flood water to reside to make the crossing

commuters using a foot path after the 2009 Mile II bridge collapse

Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Njoumessi on May 16, 2017 launched reconstruction works on the Babajou-Bamenda stretch of the Bamenda-Bafoussam Highway, to cost some 61 billion FCFA. The minister announced during the highly publicized launch that the construction work will start in June 2017.

The roads to Bamenda and in town are in a horrible state with almost all the major streets in town beyond repair and needing complete reconstruction. The state of the roads in town was the prime reason for the “coffin revolution” launched on November 21, 2017 by Mancho Bibixy. If nothing is done and urgently, Bamenda may soon be cut off from the West region and circulation in town may become practically impossible.

 

By Eben Franka

 

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