North West: Attack on Road Construction Equipment, condemnable

There has been a public outcry condemning the recurrent attacks on road construction equipment in the North West Region.

As far back as 2014, following the deterioration of the Bamenda-Babadjou road, many commuters on the said road have questioned the government on its true intentions of constructing the road.

Several cars got stuck in mud piles due to the too many deviations on the road, coupled with the heavy downpour. 

In September 2017, Public Works Minister, Emmanuel Ngannou Djoummesi launched construction works in Santa for the construction of Bamenda-Babadjou road. The construction firm to do the work was Sogea-Satom. Barely four months on the road, separatist fighters attacked the company and burnt down some heavy-duty equipment in Akum.

Road Equipment destroyed in Ndu

From January 2018 to 2021, it was a complete nightmare on that road, many passengers forced to either spend nights there or simply could not move. Muddy rainy seasons, very dusty dry seasons.

After enormous sensitization on the need to finally get that road done and those fighting for secession to understand that development knows no colour, race, tribe or political inclination, works have progressed on a fast gear and the Babadjou-Matazem stretch covering some 17KM, is it at 99.9% done meanwhile the construction of culverts and bridges are almost done on the Matazem-Bamenda stretch.

Ngwainbi Paul, Regional Delegate of Public Works 

The attacks on those carrying out construction works in the region have not completely stopped. During the rainy season in 2023, vehicles could not ply the Bamenda-Wum road. After a lot of lobbying from the political elite of Menchum, rehabilitation works were ongoing on the stretch but those carrying-out the works came under severe attacks and the rehabilitation of the said road has stopped.

The general cry of a Northwest man has been the construction of the Bamenda ring road which is supposed to link five of the seven divisions of the region with good roads. A promise made by President Biya, 40 years ago.

The construction of the Bamenda-Kumbo road was completed eight years ago and in 2023, works started on the Kumbo-Ndu road. Unfortunately, on the night of the 24th January 2024, road equipment belonging to BUNS (Construction firm) were burnt in Ndu.

Journalists at the presser

According to the Ndu Mayor, Abdou Kafon Borno, the separatists burnt down an excavator, a bulldozer, and vandalized a compactor and a front-end loader at Kilife on the Ndu-Nkambe highway, where the machines were parked.

He condemned the act as “barbaric, inhumane, senseless, unpopular, and unproductive.”

He stressed the significance of the Kumbo-Ndu stretch on the local economy and labeled the attack as “wicked and barbaric.”

Though BUNS Construction company has not abandoned the construction of the road, the safety and security of road workers has come under surveillance.

North West Regional Delegate of Public Works, Ngwainbi Paul, during a press conference organised in Bamenda on Sunday 4th February 2024, has called on all Northwesterners to be Ambassadors of peace.

"Where a road passes, development follows and there is no way we can our roads in a challenging situation like that insecurity.

"Let the population calm down and give peace a chance so that our North West region is developed through the construction of the ring road and other projects attached." Ngwainbi Paul highlighted.

The ongoing project will employ some 2500 young Cameroonians meanwhile women will be empowered with some projects from UN Women.

The regional delegate further revealed that some urban roads in Kumbo, Ndu and Nkambe have already been earmarked for construction. Other socio-economic projects like schools, markets, hospitals will be constructed alongside the road.

The call from the Regional Delegation of Public Works is for communities to own the projects currently taking place in their areas because they're the first beneficiaries and to the belligerents to stop the continuous attacks on workers who just want others to move on good and enjoyable roads.

For good roads are good for all Cameroonians.


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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