The mega-project for supplying drinking water to the city of Douala and its surroundings from the Wouri River is expected to kick off in 2024. Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute mentioned this during his general policy speech on November 30, 2023, at the National Assembly.
Speaking on this same project, the Minister of Water and Energy (Minne), Gaston Eloundou Essomba, revealed that it “aims to enhance the supply of drinking water to the city of Douala and its surroundings by producing an additional 400,000 m3 of potable water per day.” This will increase the city’s production capacity to 703,400 m3 per day from the estimated 303,400 m3 per day in 2021. The plan also includes expanding the distribution network and strengthening the storage capacity of Cameroon Water Utilities (Camwater), the water utility in Cameroon.
“As of November 2023, preliminary pre-project studies are already approved, and detailed pre-project studies are underway,” the water minister said. For 2024, the goal is to “complete the maturation process for the start of the mega-project works,” he added.
On July 6, 2023, a partnership agreement was signed between Camwater, the Belgian company Besix NV/SA, and the Turkish company Ersa Construction for the 36-month realization of the ongoing project. The two partners of Camwater, according to reports from the signing ceremony, will contribute the necessary CFA125 billion for the project’s implementation. The form of this contribution, whether it is a public-private partnership or a loan, is still unknown.
This mega project was scheduled to start at least 12 months after the deadline set by the Head of State. “I have asked the government to finalize, as a matter of urgency, the procedures for launching, as early as 2023, the mega-project to supply drinking water to the city of Douala and the surrounding area,” declared Paul Biya in his December 31, 2022 address to the nation.
This project is, however, not expected to fully resolve the drinking water deficit in Douala and its surroundings, as estimated by Camwater at 500,000 m3 per day.
Source: Business in Cameroon