(Business in Cameroon) - The mayor of Douala claims that at least 70% of the rehabilitation work on the roads identified as deteriorated in the city has already been completed. In an interview with Canal 2 International last week, Roger Mbassa Ndine said that around 45,000 m² of the 55,000 m² identified have been renovated. "We couldn't go faster because, unfortunately, the rain arrived... But you will notice that we have laid cobblestones here and there, especially at the roundabouts," he said.
According to the Urban Community of Douala (CUD), the city's road network covers approximately 5,000 km, including about 700 km of paved roads (bitumen and cobblestone) and 4,300 km of dirt roads. However, only about 6,000 m² of roads are renovated each year.
However, while the mayor is confident about the work his teams are doing, the city’s residents doubt the figures. "I think these figures are political and do not reflect the reality on the ground," a resident says. Others say they do not understand how rehabilitation work can be ongoing while potholes and craters are still visible.
Some even doubt the quality of the work performed. A resident points out that the section Cité des Palmiers-PK14 (Douala 5 district), rehabilitated last year, is once again in poor condition. But the municipal authority also admitted that the CUD would be returning to certain sites "because the work carried out there was done under difficult conditions."
"The construction sites are progressing. We will continue with the upcoming launch, I believe in October, of the Autonomous Road and Construction Authority (2RC). This will be a major innovation and will have the largest civil engineering equipment fleet in the country," the mayor of Douala promised. The 2RC was created two years ago, and the funds for its equipment have been available for over a year but have struggled to materialize due to "internal blockages in the procurement of the 50 machines" required for its operationalization.