Poor Road Network Infrastructure In Bamenda, A Call for Concern

After so much has been said concerning the poor road network in Bamenda and beyond, one is still hyping on the issue, as road users and car owners continue to cry foul about how they visit the garage more often than the church. The roads have not only turned to a sing song but is now a call for concern in order to curb road accidents.

These are sample opinions of some individuals at the start of the dry season in Bamenda. A period considered to be dusty and now more dusty given the nature of the roads.

"As a road user in the town of Bamenda, considering the state of the roads, it's by no means favouring us because just to navigate these roads is not easy. Potholes, stones, gutters, everywhere dust. This endangers the cara we use, I even frequent the garage than I frequent the church because of bad roads".

"I don't know if we are evolving with time, look at our era considering globalization and our city roads are as such. It is embarrassing, as a Cameroonian I feel ashamed. It's better to go on foot than use a car. The distance one needs to cover may be inconveniencing because of the dust." Emmanuel Tamanji.

Maikem Emmanuela says the state of the roads are sickening, besides jumping in and out of the potholes which can cause a health problem, the dusty atmosphere is a health hazard 

"I am very disappointed with the type of roads we have. It makes transportation very difficult, be it public or private. I visit the garage frequently because of these bad roads and it costs a lot of money. Health wise, the roads produce a lot of dust that's makes us sick. I really hope our leaders can do something about these roads. No matter what is happening in town, we deserve good roads." She states devastatingly.

George Etoh holds politicians and authorities within competence accountable for not placing the issue of roads in the Northwest region, as priority on their scale of preference. He believes that even amidst insecurity, something can still be done about the road network in Bamenda.

"The roads in Bamenda speaks of a rejected people. The Minister of Public works will say construction works are going to begin but it never begins, politicians say Northwest will need to take up security in their own hands if the road need to be constructed. I don't find these worth the salt. In other regions they have roads. In the Northwest region, security is a major factor yet other things have been done amidst insecurity. The military has the genie civil, they can contact contractors to have the work done. Bamenda has no road network." He says firmly.

Making reference to the dustiness of the city, "buisness men are transformed to ghost because of the dust, people have been left to their own mercy to survive. The dusty and bad roads have become a health hazard. It seems nothing matters to the powers that be. We are no longer talking about central development, we are now talking of development at the grassroots. This scenario cannot be witness in other towns. We have amenities and we have the structures but we don't have the roads. It's fustrating" George Etoh, a road user in Bamenda.

On November 2nd 2021, The Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy Planning and Regional Development in charge of Planning, who also doubles as the National Coordinator for the Reconstruction Plan, Paul Tassong made a firm observation in Bamenda, telling key Stakeholders that for the Ring- road to come to fruition, it will depend on the population of the Northwest region.

Minister Delegate, Tasong Njukang Paul was speaking at the MINEPAT Conference hall in Bamenda, within the framework of the follow-up on the Implementation of the National development Strategy 2020-2030, a Regional outreach sensitization campaign.

"If the people of the Northwest region want the Ring-road project to be delivered, it is impending on them to say No to insecurity and they will have the project without duty delay. The people should play their role, contribute their fair share for a quick return to normalcy in the Northwest region" Paul Tasong in Bamenda.

The administrator claims that everything has been put in place for the project to take off to completion and puts the blame on the Northwest population for its delay.

The population of the Northwest region is yet to enjoy the promise made by the PM, on the Bamenda-Babadjou road, who on his working visit to the North West Region to explain the implementation of resolutions of the Major National Dialogue, hinted that the ban on the construction of the road by the world Bank has been lifted.

"As I arrive Yaounde I will meet with the three contracting company and commission them into work immediately. I can assure you that the works will commence before the close of the month." The PM told the people of the North West.

Months have gone by that the Prime Minister Head of Government, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute came to the Northwest region on a Peace Mission, Paul Tasong later resurfaced to say the Ring-road project depends on the local population.

Minister Paul Tasong resurfaced with a new deal, that is in incumbent on the population in the Northwest region to defeat fear, shun insecurity and proof collaborative for work on the Ring-road to begin.

Besides the much talk about, long awaited tar on the Bamenda-Babadjou road, this reporter took interest to reveal the nature of roads to authorities that be in the Region and to hierarchy in the Cameroon Government concerned with this domain.

Besides the dual crisis; health and armed conflict, in the Northwest region, the roads are deteriorating. For many to go through the bad roads of the city and beyond, the venture for road users has become a hard pill to swallow for most car owners, taxi drivers who have to settle several control check points on a daily basis before dusk.

Majority of passengers especially buisness men and women have complained of high transportation of their goods within and out of Bamenda town. The shocks of taxis or cars that hit hard on potholes have caused drivers to levy their passengers high, while complaining the influx of price on fuel.

Car owners have to hurry and seek the services of mechanics, some of them mentioned that maintainance cost them almost more than what they earned for a day.

Work on the roads in Bamenda is yet to begin, some people who lost their property/buildings to the demolition process as part of procedures to prepare for development, are yet to settle for what they were compensated for.

By Ndefru Melanie

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