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Bamenda to secure over CFA6bn FEICOM loan for central market reconstruction

Bamenda to secure over CFA6bn FEICOM loan for central market reconstruction
  • Comments   -   Tuesday, 26 March 2024 04:51

(Business in Cameroon) - During a special meeting held by the Bamenda Urban Community on March 20, the city's municipal council gave Mayor Paul Achombang Tambeng the green light to secure a loan from FEICOM, the financial institution supporting Cameroonian municipalities. This loan is intended for the rebuilding of the central market, which was severely affected by a fire nearly a month ago. Mayor Tambeng, expressing his satisfaction on national radio, stated, "I called on the council to unite in approving the budget for reconstructing the market, estimated at just over CFA6 billion. They have given their unanimous consent. I am pleased and prepared to take the next steps."

The city hall plans to build a modern and secure market. The new commercial space is expected to be spacious, with shops set apart to facilitate the intervention of the firefighting teams in case of a possible fire on the site. Cameroonian markets are typically bustling with activity and filled to capacity. Vendors do their best to utilize the available space, leading to densely packed stalls. This creates challenging conditions for both shoppers and emergency responders, as the narrow passageways hinder movement and accessibility. The situation is made even more difficult for firefighters due to a frequent shortage of fire hydrants and the added challenge of obstructions caused by urban clutter.

The reconstruction of this market is seen as an opportunity to create new jobs within the region and to revitalize the local economy, which has been hit hard by the Anglophone crisis. Emile Simon Mooh, the prefect of the Mezam, the department of which Bamenda is the capital, has instructed that the funds requested from Feicom be "used rationally for the benefit of the traders," as reported by CRTV.

As a reminder huge flames ravaged the central market of Bamenda on February 22. According to local authorities, nearly 300 shops were destroyed. An investigation has been opened to determine the causes of the fire, which officially resulted in one death and several injuries. The disaster has left many merchants, mostly women, in despair, as they saw their investments reduced to ashes in a matter of hours.

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