World Bank Rescues Commuters On Babadjou-Bamenda Death-trap

Stretch of the Bamenda -Babajou road

Stretch of the Bamenda -Babajou road

The World Bank has pledged to fund the rehabilitation of the Babadjou-Bamenda road, which is regarded today by commuters as a death-trap. Officials of the institution made the pledge in a meeting with the Minister of Public Works in Yaounde on August 9.

The 41 kilometre stretch that links Babadjou in the West Region to Bamenda in the North West Region, has been a nightmare to users over the years. It is a dilapidated narrow stretch with potholes that have degenerated to yawning craters. This makes it vulnerable to road accidents.

The World Bank’s Intervention will end the nightmare of people using the road. During the August 9 meeting, both parties discussed the calendar of activities bordering on the tarring of the road. Their discussions were also predicated on the socio-economic amenities concerning the project. They also examined the state of progress of the different calls for tender.

Both the World Bank and the Cameroon Government represented by the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, will finalise discussions next August 18 and 19.

The Post learnt that the bank will rehabilitate the stretch as part of the trans-border road linking Cameroon and Nigeria. This is, notably, the Bamenda-Enugu corridor. Besides rehabilitating the Babadjou- Bamenda stretch, the World Bank will also bankroll a by-pass that will create a new entrance into Bamenda.

The by-pass begins from Bamenda Up Station, precisely where a billboard with the inscription ‘Welcome to Bamenda”. It continues and meanders through Mendankwe and joins the other stretch that leads to the Nkwen neighbourghood near the Amour Mezam bus stop.

The Babadjou-Bamenda stretch has been a source of public anger. Last year, it became so impassable that Babadjou people went on a rampage.They demonstrated and ignited a free-for-all cursing of the authorities.

The country’s opposition Chieftain, Ni John Fru Ndi, stormed the road and sent away workers at the toll gate at Matazem near Santa. The stretch that the World Bank will rehabilitate is part of the Yaounde-Bafoussam-Bamenda highway that is noted for road accidents. It causes 11 percent of road accidents leading to 16 percent of deaths registered on Cameroonian roads.

For one thing, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, ADB, and the Cameroon Government shoulder the burden of rehabilitating the Yaounde-Bafoussam-Bamenda highway at the cost of FCFA 211, 851 billion. Out of the amount, the ADB is providing 59.8 percent, the World Bank 27 .6 percent and the Cameroon government 12.5 percent.

It should, however, be noted that the World Bank funding is separate from that of the ADB that is covering the Yaounde-Bafoussam stretch of 212 km. The localities of Babadjou and Bamenda road corridor will each benefit a 35km tarring of their roads. Meanwhile, 16km of urban expansion of the Bamenda-Babadjou road linking the Bamenda-Enugu road corridor will also be constructed.

According to the Government of Cameroon, the construction of the Babadjou-Bamenda road would improve traffic flow as well as contribute to the development of the local socio-economic infrastructure of the nearby residents.

The Post Newspaper

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