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Agreement paves way for road works in zone under Boko Haram scare

The ministers of public works and defence, April 5, signed an agreement that would facilitate the rehabilitation of the Mora-Dabanga-Kousseri…

The ministers of public works and defence, April 5, signed an agreement that would facilitate the rehabilitation of the Mora-Dabanga-Kousseri road

Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Minister of Public Works and Joseph Beti Assomo, Minster Delegate at the Presidency in Charge of Defence, April 5, signed an agreement on a World Bank sponsored project of the rehabilitation of roads in the Far North region. The roads are to be rehabilitated in an area currently regarded as vulnerable to Boko Haram attacks, particularly the towns of Mora and Dabanga.
During the signing ceremony which took place under the watchful eyes of the director of operations of the Cameroon Office of the World Bank, the Minister of Public Works noted that work had begun on the road in question, but was stopped abruptly in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped Chinese workers of the two companies rehabilitating the road.
He said it was difficult for work to resume in the area that was frequently targeted by the terrorist group, and that it is for this reason that President Biya decided that the road should be constructed by engineers of the ministry of defence.
Minister Nganou Djoumessi said government sought and obtained assistance of the World Bank which followed the drawing up of the agreement by experts of the defence and public works ministries. He also revealed that the agreement lays down rules of collaboration in the rehabilitation of the 205km road.
“The ministry of works will supervise the road which will be carried out by the defence ministry. The ministry of public works will be assisted by the defence ministry in security and operations, according to regulations laid down in the agreement;” said the minister. He also said documents laying down directives for follow-up of rehabilitation works on the Mora-Dabanga-Kousseri road, would also be put in place after the signing of the agreement.
These other documents, he said, include an operational agreement between the works ministry and the engineering department of the ministry of defence; the deployment of security; the operational manual for the project etc.
The experts also put in place mechanisms for the management of complaints and issues that may be raised by citizens living along the project zones. Measures have also been taken to facilitate public communication that would enable citizens to closely follow the progress of works on the road as they go on.

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