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Vox pop: When Will The Southwest And Northwest Regions Be Linked By Road? 

Compiled by Francis Tim Mbom, Olive Ejang Tebug, Edith Wirdze & Lydie Yuri

I don’t believe that we can have a tarred road linking the Southwest and Northwest Regions soon. One of the reasons why these regions are not yet linked is because of discrimination. In Cameroon, Anglophones are considered as an insignificant minority. These regions were supposed to have been linked already by a tarred road like other regions of the country.

But because of discrimination and other reasons, they have not been linked up till now. The Anglophone regions receive few projects in relation to other regions. Most development projects that have been achieved in these regions are a consequence of the people’s hard work and not the government.

Then, most of the road projects promised in the past by politicians ended up only in theory. About the project to link these regions, I can’t believe the President. I feel it is a type of campaign to gain favour from people ahead of the presidential elections. He promised many things earlier which were not realised. Talking about when these regions will be connected, my reaction is negative for this 2010 and I wouldn’t believe until I see the project realised.
Yvette Ngalim; Student, University of Yaounde II

Road Should Be Refurbished
It is highly commendable for the Northwest and Southwest road link to be refurbished. It is a road that existed right from the colonial days and it is strange that immediately after re-unification, the powers that be let this road to go into bad conditions, thereby forcing all Anglophones to go through Bafoussam, Nkongsamba before they can get to the sister region.

There is a traditional relationship between the Northwest and the Southwest and to my thinking, the state let this road to go decrepit so that we will have to rely on roads within the French part of the country before we can get to our own areas. Apart from that, the Tiko, the Bali and Besongabang Airports should be refurbished. Even if they are not operational, they should exist because in due course, we are bound to use air travel to connect all other regions.
Barrister Henry Ngale Monono, Limbe

Travelling To Bamenda Is A Nightmare
Whenever I travel to my village, I endure a nightmare because I have to push the car instead of travelling in it. Indeed, the mud is terrible, the road is rough. From Mamfe, the road is just too bad. And you see, with this kind of road, you cannot leave from Mamfe to Bamenda because it is a near impossibility all round. So, when I think of it, it seems as though Mamfe has been cut off from Cameroon. Has Mamfe nothing to contribute to the economy of this country? We have ministers from this area but the roads are so bad, most of the things we cultivate here cannot get to other places like the Northwest.
Vivian Bate, Journalist, OCR, Limbe

It’s A Shame
It is a sad situation that after 40 years and more of independence, there is no tarred road linking the Northwest and Southwest Regions. It is rather unfortunate that people have to go through the West Region to get into the Southwest or Northwest Regions. Imagine that there was a landslide between Santa and Bafoussam, it would be difficult for people to travel to Southwest from North West or vice versa. All other regions are linked by tarred roads.

Thus, it is not normal that there is no major road linking these two regions and particularly to the fact that the two regions are Anglophone regions, which were administered together at first and share much together. In the years of Ahidjo, the Federal Minister of Post and Telecommunication, Emmanuel Tabi, brought the President to inaugurate the Kumba-Mamfe road when it was not tarred for political ambitions. Many people were annoyed. There is a promise for a road project to link these regions. But, I am not convinced that the project will be realised soon because I don’t have confidence with the government.
Hans Monono, Concerned Cameroonian, Yaounde

I Don’t Trust Government
I don’t really trust the government realising the project soon. One thing in Cameroon is that many good things exist only in theory. Practically, we don’t find them. Following the road map of the country, many roads are defined as being tarred which is not the case. Then, when contracts are awarded, it is another thing for them to be implemented. If we take the words of the Head of State concerning the Batibo-Mamfe project, we can hope that a tarred road may soon be realised to link these two regions. But, Cameroon being the way it is, we can’t be sure if this project will actually be executed.
Romanus Chiambah Kikwah, Pastor, Soa University Baptist Church
Ask Politicians

I think parliamentarians especially those of the two regions are better placed to answer this question. The absence of a tarred road linking the Southwest and Northwest Regions indicate that we have had absurd politicians for too long. Why are these regions not yet linked by a major road? The absence of a good road between the Northwest and Southwest Regions is an indicator that our parliamentarians, mayors and other politicians are not working hard enough. Let the parliamentarians work it out and tell us.
John Nguh, Trader, Yaounde

I think the Southwest and Northwest Regions are not linked directly by road because of negligence on the part of the government. The transport fare from the Southwest to Northwest is extremely high but if the Mamfe-Bamenda road was tarred, it would be shorter, and the transport fare would be reduced. Even the high rate of accidents on the Loum-Bafoussam-Bamenda highway is due to the absence of speed brakes. The government should consider roads as priority projects in the nation.
Raymond Asong, Bookshop Manager, Kumba

I am Sure soon
I am assured that the tarred road linking the Northwest and Southwest Regions will be realised this year. I say so because when the Head of State promises he fulfils. If you see, in his end of year’s speech, he promised sanctions against corruption and embezzlement. Immediately after, a minister, director and others have been arrested to match his words. So, I believe also that this year, the road linking the two regions will be implemented. The year is just starting and there is time for the project to be realised before the end of the year.
 Henrietta Lum; Businesswoman, Yaounde

Construct Mamfe-Bamenda Road
Traditionally, Northwest and Southwest Regions are brothers and there should be a road linking us together. If we have to travel through Kumba-Mamfe-Bamenda road, we would meet our brothers and friends in other parts of the Southwest before reaching the Northwest. We heard that studies are currently being carried out on the tarring of this road. The government should speed up her action because we are tired of the congested Douala-Mbanga-Bafoussam-Bamenda road which is a death trap. If the Mamfe-Bamenda road is tarred, congestion would reduce and consequently, the high rate of accidents on that road would be curbed.
Christopher Mfuh, Kumba

Road Should Be Tarred
It is disturbing that before we travel from the Southwest to the Northwest Region, we have to pass through Littoral and Western Regions. If these two regions are linked by a tarred road, hardship will reduce because food crops will be easily transported. Since transport fare will reduce, we shall have cheaper food from the Northwest, likewise the Southwest Region. Cash crops too would easily leave the interior like Mamfe to Douala and the welfare of the population would be improved, enhancing the development of these two regions. This road should be tarred as fast as possible.
Dr. Andrew Njingmeh, Tradi-practitioner, Kumba

They’ll Be Linked
I think Northwest and Southwest will be linked in 2012 because by this year Chinese will begin work on two tracks of road, the one linking Bamenda to Batibo to Number and the construction of Mamfe-Number which is already ended. In 36 months, I think everything will be ready and the two Regions will be linked.
Maurice Mbouda, Divisional Delegate of Labour and Social Security, Momo-Mbengwi
Linking In Process

I think linking the two Regions is already in the process sponsored by the Cameroon government and the World Bank. So I can imagine Bamenda-Batibo, Batibo-Bachong that link Northwest and Southwest. We also have Bachong-Kumba that is already linked by road. There is also Bamenda Bafoussam – Douala-Bekoko to Buea which is tarred and are linked either inter-regional or directly through Batibo or Bachong.
Edward  Nfor, Public Works Contractor, Bafoussam

Gov’t May Not Have Funds
I do not see any possibility because it is something that has to take time. Firstly, the roads in Cameroon and Northwest in particular are in a horrible state and the government may not have enough money to link the two regions by roads.
Loveline Ngi, Bamenda
The Chinese Are Linking Them

Let us take what is happening on Mamfe road where the Chinese are working to link up Northwest and Southwest Regions. The linkage can come from any angle or any cardinal point to the next town.
Councillor Eric Ndikum, Santa


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