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2014 Road Investment Budget For Kupe-Muanenguba 

Although Kupe-Muanenguba thinks its investment budget for this year is not enough to meet its needs on road infrastructure, Government invests much money for road maintenance, but the roads remain impassable. Works done by contractors are not commensurate with the budgetary allocations made for it in Bangem Subdivision in particular and Kupe-Muanenguba in general.
Late Job Orders
Some Bangem road contractors shift their inefficiency to the Ministry of Public Contracts for signing their job orders late. The truth is that some lack money to start work. They use time buying tact for the financial year to wane away and see how they can dribble with Government’s financial allocation for road maintenance, to the vexation and detriment of the population.
An Uglier Situation Ahead 
Since the peaceful demonstration by Bangem rural women and after a series of meetings with the administration, their motto is to love their determination until their roads are maintained. They want to be judged by what they finish, not by what they started. For the Bangem women, it takes a hammer of persistence on a problem of bad roads in Bangem to drive the messages to the authorities. The hammer is themselves and their actions which will be more ugly and angrier in a few days to come.
Philip Ngole Ngwese, Agnes Ntube Worry
The bad situation of roads in Bangem is a worry to Minister Philip Ngole Ngwese. During the 2013 twin election campaigns, he assured electors of good roads in no distant time. He acknowledged the three major problems of Bangem as being: roads, roads and roads. He promised to do his best to solve the problem but it seems his utmost best is being over delayed by the Ministries of Public Works, Public Contracts and contractors.
Senator Agnes Ntube epse Ndjock is equally worried about the roads in Bangem Sub-division. During her last visit to Bangem town, in a welcome get together with opinion leaders, she said she has become notorious for knocking the doors of the Ministers of Public Works and Public Contracts to sign job orders for roads in Bangem, Tombel and Nguti. Senator Ntube said anywhere she went, there was an attempt to block her endeavours but that she managed to breakthrough. She said she was prepared to take an extra mile against those in the Ministries of Public Works and Public Contracts who want pecuniary gains before performing their assigned duties. After all, she said, the anti-corruption body, CONAC, is there. Through the efforts of Honorable Bob Ngujede, one of the contractors managed to do some work from Tombel to Ngobok. The Divisional headquarters is cut off from Tombel and Nguti.
The road situation in Bangem is a cause for concern to all levels of society; the administration, politicians, opinion leaders and rural women.
 The action of the rural women is worrying as they closed the Bangem Market for a week and nobody could buy or sell. Information filtering in holds that, if no action is taken within two to three weeks, the Bangem women could march naked to the SDO’s office.
Yet, other observers hold that pronouncements on human rights abuses, issues of governance and democracy cannot be the same without Women Protest Against Bad Roads
Since Monday, June 16, 2014, Bangem rural women have been demonstrating at the office of the Senior Divisional Officer for Kupe-Muanenguba. 
The women are determined to go on with the demonstrations to ensure that the roads into Bangem are rehabilitated by the contractors to whom Government awarded contracts for the Melong–Bangem, Bangem-Tombel, and Bangem-Nguti roads. These roads are the main outlets and entry points to the Divisional headquarters.
For close to three years now, major works have not been done on the roads. They are dilapidated; pot holes have rendered them impassable. Only motorbike riders manage to ply the roads for cut-throat transport fares. For a distance of 33km, Bangem to Melong, the rider requires FCFA 5,000 instead of the normal FCFA 2,000.
In such a situation, business has come to a standstill; civil servants go for weeks, even months without working; Government services are close to a halt, except the SDO and the DO’s offices that are operating on all official working days, 25 days a month on five days per week.
Business operators are the hard hit due to the bad roads. The Bangem main market and other village markets are flies-infested because heaps of unsold plantains get ripe and rot, rendering the place breeding grounds for the flies, mosquitoes and rats that have ready food. The rural women of Bangem are, therefore, deprived of their farm earnings. 
The road issues in Bangem, Kupe-Muanenguba Division, have, for long, been a cause for concern and, for long, the population has shown good judgment, understanding and untold tolerance. The tolerance has reached the end of the tunnel as the women have resorted to peaceful demonstrations. 
This has triggered a series of meetings; first with the women’s group representatives and the DO of Bangem Central, second with the women representatives and the SDO and opinion leaders on June 21, in the SDO’s conference hall in Bangem. 
The SDO frowned at the action of the women, recounting the goodwill of the Government to improve the roads in Bangem Subdivision in particular and Kupe-Muanenguba Division in general, but blamed the contractors who delay work and sometimes fail to execute contracts until the financial year wanes away.
It has been alleged that road contractors for Bangem are paid at the level of Yaounde or Buea, even when the works are poorly done or not done at all. Some of them have been bold enough to slap the SDO and the Mayor of Bangem Council on their faces by telling each of them “the contractor is not answerable to you”. For example, a contractor for the rehabilitation of Bangem town for FCFA 55 million got to town, did a rough job for a week in complicity with the then Delegate of Urban Development and Town Planning; a so-called son of the soil and disappeared. 
The opinion leaders in the town were worried and frowned at the poor work done. They wanted to know from the Delegate who posed as a sub-contractor to rehabilitate the streets of Bangem town; but he wrote a letter to the powers that be, accusing the opinion leaders of threatening his life. It is alleged that the said Delegate facilitated the siphoning of FCFA 55 million which Government allocated for the work. In a week, water pipes were destroyed with stones flying into gutters to block waterways. These are signs of poor jobs done within five days for FCFA 55 million of state funds.
By John Ndahne
 
 
 

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