For some time now, the government has embarked on several face-lifting projects designed to ease life in urban agglomerations.
These include opening up new water supply systems, more electrification facilities and more particularly, the construction of more urban roads to ease the city transit system. If virtually all cities are concerned, Yaounde and Douala seem to have obtained the lion’s share of these facilities, given their huge populations and their importance in the political and economic life of the nation.
Yaounde in recent months has seen the reception of such important road projects as the Etoudi-Messassi double carriage way, the opening up of the Mvog-Atangana Mballa neighbourhood while in Douala the east entrance into the city has received a face-lift with the construction of a 22-kilometer modern four-lane carriage way from the Japoma bridge into the city centre.
Construction work on the west entrance into the city is on; all this among other important road projects within the city. All these projects are, of course, destined not only to make life more comfortable for citizens, but also to modernize the city and align it with other cities of similar standing across the globe. But citizens’ attitude towards these projects must reflect this government determination and may simply add up to naught if the necessary good conduct is not exhibited by these citizens.
Take the Mvog-Mbi market area in the Mvog6Atangana Mballa quarters in Yaounde where billions of taxpayers’ francs have been injected into an impressive road construction project. Hardly had the construction company finished the job than market women from I don’t know where suddenly invaded the four-lane road opened up to decongest the market displaying their wares, usually composed of raw food and even livestock, in a most disorderly manner on the road, reducing the traffic lanes to a mere passage on which vehicles find it difficult to circulate.
The same can be said of the entrance into Douala from Yaounde at the Ndogpassi area of the city where the wide road has been reduced to a path, thus defeating all government’s good intentions to ease traffic, especially from Yaounde into Douala. The present situation leaves an image of work undone because the objectives have simply been trampled underfoot. While we call on citizens to exercise greater civic responsibility by liberating these urban roads and in so doing, contribute to making our cities modern ones, one must also summon the various city councils to show more resolution in ensuring that existing laws are respected.
Else, they must also return to the drawing boards to look for ways of settling these veritable armies of market women permanently in search of space to sell their goods which, in many cases, are composed of badly needed food items in high demand by the population.