Douala-Yaounde Road: The Never-Ending Construction Clamor

The Cameroonian government is preoccupied by the delay in construction works of the first phase of the motorway Yaoundé-Douala, which will connect the two capitals in the country. At least this is what emerged from a meeting just organised by the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, contract awarding authority of the first 60 Km of this motorway infrastructure, with the management of the company China First Highway Engineering Co Ltd (CFHEC). Indeed, we learned, after having used 32 months out of the 48 months scheduled for the delivery of the first phase of this project, CFHEC has only completed 40% of the work at June end, against 30% as of last 31 January.

En clair, au cours des six derniers mois, les travaux sur le chantier de cette autoroute ont progressé de seulement 10%, à cause des difficultés ayant même conduit à son arrêt total pendant quelques temps. La faute, apprend-on, à des lenteurs imputables davantage à l’Etat, lui-même, qu’à l’entreprise chinoise chargée de réaliser ce projet.

In other words, during the last six months, work on the site of this motorway has only progressed by 10%, due to difficulties having even led to a complete halt during some time. The fault, we learn, is tardiness attributed more to the State, itself, rather than to the Chinese company tasked with realising this project.

Among the obstacles which are slowing down the conduct of work on this motorway, are mainly cited the parsimonious payment of the Cameroonian counterpart, and the failure to release the rights of way on several kilometres to be constructed, due to delays in paying compensation to evicted populations.

As a reminder, the Yaoundé-Douala motorway construction project aims to build a modern road network of around 215 km between the two most important cities in Cameroon. The overall cost of the works is estimated at FCfa 284 billion.


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