The Yaounde-Douala motorway is gradually ebbing out of the equatorial forest with phase one expected to be completed by October 2018, despite some financial constraints faced by China First Engineering company (CFHEC).
Construction work on the first phase of the Yaounde-Douala motorway is well on course with execution rate estimated at 40%. It was against this backdrop that the minister delegate at the presidency in charge of public contracts on the 2nd of March 2017 made a guided tour of the site. Minister Abba Sadou who was amazed at the already begun bituminization noted with satisfaction that work was in good progress. On the pk+400 – pk40+000 of the road, the Ministerial Delegation drove on over 10km of 5cm thick tarred road with stopovers at zones of intense activity. Deafening noises from road rollers motor graders asphalt pavers, cold planers vibratory roller compactors and coating extrusion machines told the story of readiness and determination to succeed.
The Minister delegate listened attentively, asked questions and then made recommendations geared at speeding up work progress. According to Sahli Jale, chief of the Control Mission, progress rate stands at 40% as against 60% for the consumption rate. Even though more than 10km of the motorway has been tarred, he blamed delays on administrative hiccups, outstanding social and environmental as well as intermittent financial crisis that have regrettably characterized the ongoing phase of the project by the china First Engineering Company (CFHEC).
Deforestation, digging and levelling works are however ongoing from the 40th to the 60thkm which is supposed to link the motorway to Boumnyebel, thereby ending phase one of the project and making it operational. Officials say even at a 40% execution rate, they are still optimistic that the deadline will be met if government increases its financial effort.
The Minister then debriefed contractors upon their return to PK0, the final lap of the tour and at the same time listened to opinions on how to overcome obstacles plaguing the smooth execution of the project. While making final recommendations, the Minister delegate revealed that the grievances of CFHEC have been taken care of, and sooner than later the problem of arrears with the sponsor EXIMBANK China will be solved. He equally insisted that righting all wrongs is non-negotiable and work must be completed by the end of 2018. « The contractor has to put more effort to catch-up with the deadline because…the project has to be completed by 2018, which is to say within a year and a half it must be ready. For this to happen therefore, the company has to synchronize efforts and mobilise human, material and financial resources so as to meet this deadline. »
It will be recalled that the government of Cameroon embarked on the two way lane motorway after the present Yaounde-Douala highway had become obsolete and more or less a death trap with hundreds of passengers dying uncontrollably yearly on this narrow stretch with heavy traffic flow. The construction works that were launched in October 2014 are expected to end in October 2018.
LINDA SUSAN LENDZEMO