Bamenda-Matazem road: Thousands of passengers stranded


Cars stocked 


Travellers leaving Bamenda or entering the North West region have been held for hours at Mile 5 Akum, a 15 minutes drive from Bamenda.

The heavy downpour in Bamenda on Friday 14th May 2021 made the stretch impassable leaving commuters to spend the night at the spot while other heavy duty vehicles are trapped in the mud. 

NW Regional Delegate and Commissioner for Economic Development 

Informed on this, North West Regional Delegate of Public Works, Ngwainbi Paul brought in a caterpillar to clear the muddy soil at the road. 

"The road will be passable. This caterpillar will stay here and we will ensure that this spot is fixed." Ngwainbi Paul told the observer


As cars tried to negotiate this stretch, they are caught in another web, that of traffic. For six hours this Saturday 15th May 2021, cars were still stocked. Patients could not reach hospital, perishables getting rotten while a truck transporting pigs only discover that 10 of them were dead. 

Pa Godlove 

One of the passengers, Godlove who left Bamenda at 9am was still at the spot

"if they don't work hard, we will still be here. The business I was going to do, a day is already lost. If I cannot travel today, I'll go back home" 


Ghejung Awunti


On hand to access the level of damage done and the economic impact to the region, the Commissioner of Economic Development at the North West Regional council, Ghejung Awunti on behalf of the Regional Assembly President, called on the Delegate to try as much as possible to ensure that gutters are constructed so runoff does not render the road impassable again

"Traffic is gradually being restored but the real issue here is that there are no gutters. So the water is flowing directly on the road, creating its own passage and making it difficult for vehicles to move" 

Economic Commissioner and Hon Kum John Nji

One of the road users, Hon Kum John Nji of the Menchum North constituency, lamented that he had spend five hours on the same spot. He frowned at the measures taken by the public works ministry after a lengthy conversation with CPDM MPs from the North West last year. 

"Last year we met with the Minister of Public works and he assured us that the contract will be handed to indigenous contractors. Unfortunately, since then, works is still to effectively resume on this stretch. No one should blame the non resumption of works on the crisis because since last year, the stretch from Babadjou to Matazem is still to take off. As MPs, we need to talk to a higher authority than the Minister"

10 pis died in this truck

Business operators are stocked while foodstuffs either entering or leaving Bamenda are still on the spot. 

Construction works to rehabilitate the Bamenda - Babadjou road was launched in 2017 in Santa and the contract awarded to Sogea Satom. The contracting company later abandoned the project and it was awarded to 3 companies from the North West. 

Bad roads

As it stands, the project is still to effectively kick off and the cry of the common man is that the road be completed within the shortest time possible. 

Caterpillar at the site

At Press time, if the rains hit the ground, commuters might spend another night. 

By

Ndi Tsembom Elvis in Akum

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