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Gov’t, Belgium Seal Deal For Potable Water At Kribi Seaport 

By Yerima Kini NsomStakeholders during the signing  of the water convention

The government of Cameroon and the Kingdom of Belgium signed a convention on June 10 for the provision of portable water at the Kribi Deep Seaport in the South Region.

The Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT, Louis Paul Motaze, and the Charges ‘Affaires at the Belgian Embassy to Cameroon, H.E. Christian Meerschman, sealed the deal in a solemn ceremony at the port complex. According to the terms of the convention, the Belgium Company, ASPAC Intl SPRL, will execute the project with FCFA 29.5billion from the Belgian Belfius Bank.

Speaking at the occasion, Loius Paul Motaze, said the convention was one of the trickle-downs of the dynamic and fruitful relations that Cameroon and Belgium have been enjoying over the years. He said just in seven years Belgium has bankrolled potable water projects in Cameroon to the tune of FCFA 78 billion.

Belgium, he went on, will also fund water projects in Bankim, Banyo, Mbe, Pitoa, Mayo-Oulo, Figuil in the Northern Regions; Mbalmayo, Sa’a, Yoko and Makalingai in the Centre Region; Djoum in the South Region and Dimako and Lomie in the East Region.

He revealed that the projects will cost FCFA 26 billion.
By funding these projects, the Minister stated, the Belfius bank of Belgium was helping Cameroon to accelerate its march towards becoming an emerging country in 2035.

The convention, he went on, will also cover the projected Kribi new town willsprawl around the Seaport Complex. The Minister said that Kribi new town will cover some 4000 hectares and will have more than 80,000 inhabitants in the next 20years.

He revealed that the technical studies on the first phase of the new town project that cover 2100 hectares have been conducted and the search for funding has started. He urged the parties implicated in the project like CAMWATER and CDE to ensure the acceleration of its execution.

While appending his signature on behalf of his government, the Charge d’Affaires at the Belgian Embassy, described the project as a win-win venture between the two countries. He congratulated the Cameroon government for constructing the deep Seaport saying it will further accelerate the country’s socio-economic development.

Taking the floor earlier, a Senior Official of the Belgium Belfius Bank, Danny Feremans, said the bank has been funding water projects since 2009. He said they were happy to fund the water project because it borders on the wellbeing of the population.

He said the Belfius Bank has the will and the desire to continue to fund such projects in order to enhance the relations between the two countries. Present at the occasion among others were the Ministers of Urban Development, Jean-Claude Mbwentchou and Water and Energy, Basile Atangana Kouna.

The provision of water at the Kribi deep Seaport complex is a major stake given the construction of the first phase of the project is complete. The first phase consisted of the construction of the container and the multipurpose terminals.

After visiting the seaport last June 10, Minister Motaze who is also the Chair of the steering committee of the outfit, said it was ready for use.

He however, said he could not state exactly when business will start because other services like the custom posts have to be installed. The Minister said the decision to completely finish phase I of the post before embarking on the second, was a wise one because it would permit the Government to generate money and pay back to its funding partners.

The second phase whose geo-technical studies have been completed, consist of building two more container terminals that are 700 meters long. A dual carriage-way that covers 38.5 km from Kribi town to the Seaport village at Mboro, is under construction. President Paul Biya laid the foundation stone for the construction of the seaport in 2011.

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