By Yerima Kini Nsom
The Government of Japan will offer a grant of FCFA 43.5 million to the Nkambe Council in Donga Matung Division of the Northwest Region.
The money would be used to construct and equip five classrooms at Government School Bambe in Wat village in the Nkambe Municipality.
The financial assistance is the essence of a grant contract the Japanese Ambassador to Cameroon, HE Tsotomu Arai, and the Mayor of Nkambe Council, Paul Ngabir Bantar, signed at the Embassy in Yaounde on February 26.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador said the construction and the equipment of the classrooms will help to improve the learning conditions and prevent Wat children and those of neighbouring villages from trekking long distances to attend schools.
“This project will directly benefit more than 326 pupils who, being compressed in small rooms, do not have access to a consolidated and sustainable learning infrastructure within a radius of five kilometers,” he said.
The Ambassador said education is one of Japan’s development priorities and strategic areas in Cameroon.
“Our objective is funding this project to contribute to the laudable efforts the Government of Cameroon is deploying through grassroots organisations, the local Councils and the civil society at large, in view of achieving the second millennium Development Goal which aims at achieving universal primary schooling by the year 2015, in which we currently are”, the diplomat remarked. Calling on the Mayor to ensure a scrupulous execution of the project, he said its success will represent an exemplary partnership. He told the Mayor that the success of the project depends on his will to implement and manage it efficiently and effectively.
Tsotomu said, Japanese Schools that have been constructed in the Northwest Region, like the one recently inaugurated in Bali within the framework of bilateral cooperation between the Government of Cameroon and Japan, have been well managed.
Nkambe Mayor, Ngabir Bantar, expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government for the grant.
“For two decades now, since the inception of the school, we have been managing in two mud brick classrooms that are not plastered. The Mayor said the grant was the biggest the Council has received in decades.
“Education in that area, like in most parts of the municipality, has been stifled by an acute shortage of infrastructure and personnel. This timely offer will go a long way to make-up for the great infrastructural deficit.”
Going by the Mayor, the grant is testimony of the cordial diplomatic relations between Cameroon and Japan.
Upon completion, he went on, the school will epitomise the excellent relations between Japan and Cameroon for generations to come.
Some Councillors of the Nkambe Council, including the Fon of Wat Village, attended the solemn ceremony.