Currently, Cameroon’s road network is 121,873.93 kilometers long. However, only 48.86% of that network is in a good or average condition. As for the remaining 51.14%, it is in bad condition, Minister of Public Works Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi explained on December 1, 2021, while defending the 2022 budget of his ministerial department before the parliament.
According to the official, the poor condition of those roads is due to a lack of maintenance fundings. Indeed, he explained, over the past ten years, Cameroon’s road network has increased by 121%, from 55 000 km in 2010, to 121,873.93 km in 2021. But the budget dedicated to its maintenance has not grown proportionally.
To address the situation, the government intends to not only concede the road maintenance but also implement a new strategy aimed at ensuring the sustainability of dirt roads that constitute well over 93% of the national road network, he explained.
The new strategy was developed because the Ministry of Public Works noticed that the maintenance solutions implemented so far have limitations. On June 1-3, 2021, a workshop was organized in Yaoundé to discuss the new strategy, we learn.
Based on new maintenance methods and the use of innovative products, the strategy is aimed at “improving the load-bearing capacity of the unconsolidated materials that usually form the surface of those roads. It is also aimed at reducing the impacts f traffic on them by controlling and monitoring the circulation of heavy vehicles as well as controlling and limiting the impacts of climatic conditions…”
Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi stresses that the implementation of the new strategy will have to be supported with governance measures such as improved rigor in the execution of the works in strict compliance with agreed terms and the multiplication of monitoring and emergency intervention networks.
According to the Ministry of Public Works, the feedback collected one year after implementing this strategy will serve as guidelines for the elaboration of a technical guide for the maintenance of dirt roads taking into account ecological and technical specificities, the problems encountered, the optimal solutions, and the implementation protocol.
Ultimately, in addition to optimizing the maintenance of dirt roads, the strategy is expected t positively impact Cameroonians whose “living standard (…) is affected by the services they receive through those dirt roads.”
Source: Business in Cameroon