The South West Development Authority (SOWEDA) has voted a budget of FCFA 1.450 Billion for 2020. A chunk of the financial plan will go to reconstruct the wide-spread vandalized property due to the three-year upheavals rocking the two regions. As such, the Authority will facilitate the home-return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.
Analysing the budget to the press last 18 December, 2019, the Chair of SOWEDA Board of Directors, Herbert Ediage Apande, underscored that FCFA 900 million stood for running cost while the rest in the neighbourhood of FCFA 500 million would enable socio-economic and infrastructural investment in the South West Region.
The key action of the Authority for 2020 will be to reconstruct vandalized property like houses, farms as well as infrastructures like health and water systems, roads and other social amenities that have suffered destruction during the unrest. The programme will also help displaced persons from within and without the country as a result of the North West and South West crisis to resettle and begin some businesses for livelihood in the Region. “The bulk of investment money will come in through the means of Government investment action by the titular Ministry of Agriculture and the running cost will normally flow from the Ministry of Finance” the SOWEDA Board chair added.
The violent atmosphere in the South West Region resulted in drawing back many field activities of SOWEDA. Five workers of SOWEDA were kidnapped and the Authority’s property was vandalized and put to danger. This situation remains challenging to SOWEDA that has to spread its activities throughout the six Administrative Divisions of the Region.
The new administration of SOWEDA is taking the bull by the horns to print the marks of the development agency. “We inherited the establishment when our Region is undergoing a lot of socio-political challenges of insecurity. But there is hope with the holding of the Major National Dialogue that things are gradually returning to normal. As such, SOWEDA is positioning itself to be involved in the recovery and reconstruction of the Region. Our action will centre on assisting farmers to recover their lost crops.” Dr. Besong Ntui Ogork explained.
The rehabilitation of SOWEDA’s equipment pool foreseen in their 2020 budget would propel the Authority to resume its field activities of rural development in the South West Region.