Land transport finally resumed on the Douala-Yaoundé National Road N°3 last October 22 after 24 hours of interruption thanks to rapid intervention from the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi that saw the placing of a temporal metallic bridge over the collapsed spot at Manyai in Matomb Sub Division.
Speaking earlier at the site of the rehabilitation works, Minister Nganou Djoumessi said, “We are very satisfied with what is going on. We have already placed what will serve as a provisional culvert and we have also identified what will serve as a deviation; we will create another road so that the users of the road should continue to circulate from Yaoundé to Douala and from Douala to Yaoundé. As far as this particular point of disruption is concern, rehabilitation work is going on satisfactorily, so I believe that in a couple of hours we will be able to re-establish circulation.”
The Minister had also indicated earlier that the collapsed culvert spot among 50 others had already been earmarked for the construction of solid bridges by his ministry as soon as the rainy season gives way.
Friday, October 21, 2016 has gone down into history books as a black Friday in Cameroon following first the collapse of a portion of road due to an old metallic culvert on the Douala-Yaoundé National Road N°3 thereby pushing many travelers to take up the train as the only cheapest option but unfortunately could not reach their respective destinations following a train derailment that led to the loss of lives and several persons wounded.
Given that the disruption of traffic led to the creation of long queues of vehicles and crowds of people on both sides of the road causing serious economic loss as goods and services were grounded for a day, citizens have asked their government to be proactive and not to wait only on crisis before they wake up from slumber.
To many, the Douala-Yaoundé road incident of last Friday is an eye opener to many other deplorable road conditions observed nationwide such as along the Yaoundé-Bafoussam-Bamenda highway named National Road N°4.
Though the cause of the collapsed culvert is attributed to heavy rainfall in the night between October 20 and 21, 2016, many citizens argue that all of these incidents would have been avoided if the regime that is in power since 1982 had rehabilitated roads and constructed secondary ones which could be used by vehicles after the collapse of the culvert at Manyai in Matomb Sub Division.
Occurring on the eve of the kick off of the 2016 Women African Nations Cup, the Cameroon government must look beyond these two successive incidents of Friday October 21 in order not only to offer the population with good road networks but also to build a solid transport system in the country.